Tuesday, 4 May 2010

What we can learn from Bonobo monkeys
(Part 2 of 5)

Are there any characteristics of Bonobo monkeys worth reflecting upon? Human beings possess infinitely more intelligence than apes, but are we necessarily happier? If our thinking impairs our primitive instincts, does this always happen to our advantage?

Naturalists are making great efforts to save Bonobos from extinction. At the turn of the 21st century, only a few thousand of these apes continue to live in their natural habitat in Central Africa. Hunting by man and deforestation, which diminishes their food supply, represent the greatest threats to their survival.

From what we know about Bonobo monkeys, four elements catch our attention: they possess modest skills to allocate resources, some marks of individuality, a tendency to avoid unnecessary effort, and a limited ability to adopt self-protection measures. Let us review these four ideas in detail.

[1] Allocation of resources: Bonobo monkeys, like all animals, do not move always at the same speed. What makes these apes remarkable is that they are able to walk upright on two feet for extended distances. Scientists estimate that Bonobo monkeys walk approximately ¼ of the time in upright posture.

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by s. sawada under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

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