Most people possessing any familiarity with our closest relatives know that there are two species of chimpanzees: Bonobos (Pan paniscus) and the common Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Some researchers believe that bonobos and common chimps diverged around 0.9 million years ago (Won and Hey, 2002). Many may not know that taxonomies further divide common chimps into... Continue Reading →
National Geographic has a short story and video of a newly-discovered population of bonobos in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The large group may contain as many as 3,000 members, a welcome find for this dwindling population.
Animals that live in groups often break into smaller groups (fission), and later recongregate (fusion). Fission-fusion behavior is often tied to resource availability, but can also be related to social dynamics (competition among group members can lead to conflict, and breaking into smaller groups can alleviate the conflict). While fissioning into subgroups can relieve tension... Continue Reading →