Purpose: This presentation is a foundational introduction to bonobos. Objectives: To introduce students to the basic biological data on bonobos. To engage students in active learning and pique their interest. Approximate length: 30 minutes
Which is which?
Gorilla Bonobo Orangutan Chimpanzee
Meeting the bonobos
• Bonobosarefound in only
Republic of Congo.
• They inhabit theheart of the
Congo Basin, thesecond
largest rain forest on earth.
• Thisregion isalso hometo a
vast array of other wildlife
forest elephant, sitatunga,
bongo, okapi, forest buffalo,
congo peacock, and avariety
Describe the physical
characteristics of the bonobo.
Adult Females Adult Males
• Average weight is 31
• Average height is 2.3
to 2.49 ft
• Average weight is 39
• Average height is
2.40 to 2.72 ft
Bonobo Social Groups
• Bonobos live in groups of up to 100
individuals. Most groups have between
They form smaller groups during the day
• What is foraging?
57% of their diet is fruit
• Bonobos forage for
fruit, nuts, seeds,
• They eat various
parts of plants,
including the leaves,
flowers, bark, stems,
pith, and roots.
• They also eat insect larvae, earthworms,
honey, eggs, and soil. Only sometimes
do they eat small mammals and they
very rarely hunt.
• You could say they are primarily
vegetarians or herbivores.
• At night, bonobos re-group and build night
nests in the trees
• These are made of branches, leaves, and other
• As they prepare to sleep, bonobos fill the
twilight with a symphony of soprano squeals.
Their high-pitched vocalizations sound like a
flock of exotic birds.
• Bonobos and people share more than
98% of the same genetic make-up
• In our next lesson we will examine what
other similarities – and differences –
there are between bonobos and humans.