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Bonobo Chimpanzees in Congo – Oral Mating Facts & Diet

Chimpanzees are divided into two species: Bonobo chimpanzees and Common chimpanzees. Although they share some similarities, they also have several differences in terms of habitat, size, behaviors, and diet. The Bonobo, also known as the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee and sometimes referred to as the Pygmy chimpanzee, is a species of chimpanzee that inhabits the primary and secondary forests of the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa.

Recommended Package: 3-Day Bonobo Tour

Bonobo Chimpanzees in Congo - Oral Mating Facts & Diet

Bonobo chimpanzees can be distinguished from common chimpanzees by their parted long hair on the head, tail tuft, black face, pink lips, and longer legs. Due to political instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there has been limited research conducted on Bonobo chimpanzees.

The Bonobo population is estimated to range from 30,000 to 50,000 individuals remaining in the wild, categorizing them as an endangered species. Bonobos have been observed to resolve conflicts through sexual contact, which is different from other chimpanzee species that may resort to violence when defending their territories from outsiders.

Bonobos employ various means of communication, such as facial expressions, body language, gestures, and vocalizations, similar to other great apes. They use these forms of communication during grooming sessions, feeding, play, and in response to danger.

Bonobo monkeys are less aggressive, and studies suggest that their brains have larger regions associated with sensing distress in others and feeling empathy. This characteristic makes them more peaceful and less aggressive compared to other chimpanzee species.

Bonobo chimpanzees are omnivorous apes, primarily consuming fruits, leaves, stems, and supplementing their diet with items like honey, eggs, flying squirrels, small duikers, and small monkeys. Unlike common chimpanzees, Bonobo chimpanzee communities are female-dominated.

Bonobo sexual behavior differs from that of other chimpanzees. They engage in activities like tongue kissing, oral sex, and genital massaging. Female bonobos typically give birth at an average age of 4-6 years and nurse their offspring until they are 3 or 4 years old.

Adult male bonobos can mate with females even when the females are too young to reproduce, and mothers can assist their sons in mating with more females. The status of a male bonobo is derived from the status of his mother, as females hold more dominance in their communities and tend to be more aggressive. The mother-son bond among bonobos remains strong throughout their lifetime.

Bonobos live in social groups of over a hundred individuals, although they split into smaller groups during the day while foraging for food. They come back together at night to sleep in the same area, where they construct their nests.

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