For a while in the 1990s, it seemed like everybody wanted to be a pygmy chimp. A bonobono. All bonobos did, they said, was hang out in the jungle, avoid mean old regular chimpanzees and make an awful lot of whoopie. But new research proves bonobonos are not the peaceful sex-addicts some have described:
Bonobos are perhaps best known for their promiscuity: sexual acts both within and between the sexes are a common means of greeting, resolving conflicts, or reconciling after conflicts.
The researchers made the discovery that these free-loving primates also hunt and kill other primates while they were studying a bonobo population living in LuiKotale, Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They had been observing the bonobos there for the last five years, which is what made the new observations possible.
The researchers have now seen three instances of successful hunts in which bonobos captured and ate their primate prey.