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Please go to my new Psychology Today blog to see what I'm up to. To buy the book, Bonobo Handshake, please visit my website. To follow the adventures of the Lola ya Bonobo orphans, please visit Friends of Bonobos

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

evan on bonobo pants!

Evan, one of our graduate students who studies bonobos at Lola has just joined the band of brothers at

It means he gets half price pants! which is good coz he's a student and broke. Evan worked very hard on his essay all christmas eve. his whole family was admiring that he was so dedicated to his studies, but actually he was just gunning for half price pants. they're great pants tho. check them out. and here is his essay reproduced b/c of all that effort...

I work in the department of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University and my research focuses on the question of what makes humans unique. I explore this question by trying to understand how we are similar and different from our two closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos. People have studied chimpanzees for a long time and lots of ideas about humans are based on what we know about chimps. It is only recently that our equally close relative, the bonobo, has stepped into the anthropological limelight. Compared to chimpanzees, bonobos live in peaceful, relatively friendly societies. We’re hoping that humans can take a lesson from bonobos and were glad you’ve embraced that philosophy as well.

Ironically, the peaceful bonobos live only in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. We observe the bonobos at Lola ya Bonobo, a sanctuary dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of orphan bonobos. Additionally, Lola ya Bonobo works hard to help the Congolese people by teaching school children about the special responsibility they have to protect and cherish the remaining wild populations of bonobos. Through collaboration with Congolese science students, we are developing an international team of researchers dedicated to learning about and learning from bonobos. Ultimately we hope that our work for protection and increased knowledge of bonobos will help humans celebrate peace and tolerance in similar ways.

Although a career researching bonobos will never be lucrative, I will always be spoiled with their good company. If you see fit, I would be honored to join the good company of the Band of Brothers. You will find no better looking, more stylish ape than a bonobo, and with your help, the researchers studying them will look just as good.