Current Bonobos News and Events

Current Bonobos News and Events, Bonobos News Articles.
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Researchers demonstrate snake venom evolution for defensive purposes
Researchers from LSTM's Centre for Snakebite Research and Interventions (CSRI) have led an international team investigating the evolutionary origins of a novel defensive trait by snakes - venom spitting - and demonstrated that defensive selection pressures can influence venom composition in snakes in a repeatable manner. (2021-01-21)

Bonobos, chimpanzees, and oxytocin
Kyoto University researchers analyze the effects of the hormone oxytocin in our closest primate cousins, bonobos and chimpanzees by tracking their eye movement -- a important indicator of social interaction. Similar to other mammals, oxytocin increases eye contact in bonobos. However, the opposite effect is observed in chimpanzees. Therefore, oxytocin could play a modulating role in the social evolution of the two species. (2021-01-20)

Whole genomes map pathways of chimpanzee and bonobo divergence
Chimpanzees and bonobos are sister species that diverged around 1.8 million years ago as the Congo River formed a geographic boundary and they evolved in separate environments. Now, a whole-genome comparison of bonobos and chimpanzees reveals the gene pathways associated with the striking differences between the two species' diets, sociality and sexual behaviors. (2020-12-16)

Evolution of the Y chromosome in great apes deciphered
New analysis of the DNA sequence of the male-specific Y chromosomes from all living species of the great ape family helps to clarify our understanding of how this enigmatic chromosome evolved. (2020-10-06)

Scientists identify new species of crystal-encrusted truffle, thanks to bonobos
Mushroom-munching bonobos in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have introduced scientists to a new species of truffle. (2020-09-22)

Differing diets of bonobo groups may offer insights into how culture is created
Besides humans, many other social animals are believed to exhibit forms of culture in various ways, too. According to a new study led by Harvard primatologists Liran Samuni and Martin Surbeck, bonobos, one of our closest living relatives, could be the latest addition to the list. (2020-09-01)

For chimpanzees, salt and pepper hair not a marker of old age
Silver strands and graying hair is a sign of aging in humans, but things aren't so simple for our closest ape relatives--the chimpanzee. A new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE by researchers at the George Washington University found graying hair is not indicative of a chimpanzee's age. (2020-07-14)

In the wild, chimpanzees are more motivated to cooperate than bonobos
Scientists investigated cooperation dynamics in wild chimpanzees (Tai, Ivory Coast) and bonobos (LuiKotale, DCR) using a snake model. While chimpanzees cooperate to defend their territory, bonobos do not. The study reveals no differences in both species' social intelligence but supports theories linking territoriality and in-group cooperation in humans since chimpanzees were more motivated to cooperate by informing others of a threat as compared to bonobos. (2020-06-24)

Scientists made a single-cell-resolution map of brain genes in humans and other primates
A group of scientists led by Philipp Khaitovich, a professor at Skoltech, conducted a large-scale study of gene expression in 33 different brain regions of humans, chimpanzees, macaques and bonobos using the single-cell-resolution transcriptomics technologies and made a map of the different brain regions with their specific cell structures. Such maps are highly valuable for the human evolution research (2020-06-04)

Leipzig primate researchers initiate global collaboration
In order to investigate evolutionary questions, scientists require the largest and most versatile samples possible. If those samples are not available in one place, research institutions can support each other. This is the rationale behind ManyPrimates, a project that aims to establish a culture of global collaboration in primate cognition research. It was set up by researchers from the Leipzig Research Center for Early Childhood Development (LFE) at Leipzig University, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and Zoo Leipzig. (2019-10-29)

Great apes have you on their mind
For decades a fierce debate was raised on whether any nonhuman species possess the ability of 'Theory of Mind'. Now, Kyoto University researchers report in a new study that great apes -- including chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans -- do demonstrate a theory of mind, meaning they can understand others' mental states. (2019-09-30)

Sex for cooperation
To understand the origins of human sociality studying the social dynamics of our closest relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, is important. Using behavioral and hormonal data from a habituated bonobo community at the long-term LuiKotale field site in the Democratic Republic of Congo researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Harvard University and the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology have now shown that same-sex sexual behavior in female bonobos increases friendly social interactions, including cooperation. (2019-09-10)

NUS study reveals similarities in human, chimpanzee, and bonobo eye colour patterns
Researchers from the National University of Singapore have revealed that chimpanzees and bonobos share the contrasting colour pattern seen in human eyes, which makes it easy for them to detect the direction of someone's gaze from a distance. (2019-09-04)

First human ancestors breastfed for longer than contemporary relatives
By analyzing the fossilized teeth of some of our most ancient ancestors, a team of scientists led by the universities of Bristol (UK) and Lyon (France) have discovered that the first humans significantly breastfed their infants for longer periods than their contemporary relatives. (2019-08-29)

Research reveals the link between primate knuckles and hand use
Research carried out by the University of Kent has found differences between the knuckle joints of primates that will enable a better understanding of ancient human hand use. Using samples from the Powell-Cotton Museum in Birchington-on-Sea (UK), as well as samples from Germany, Belgium and the USA, a team led by School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC) PhD student Christopher Dunmore examined the internal bone structure, called trabeculae or cancellous bone, of great apes. (2019-05-29)

Bonobo moms play an active role in helping their sons find a mate
Many social animals share child-rearing duties, but research publishing May 20 in the journal Current Biology finds that bonobo moms go the extra step and actually take action to ensure their sons will become fathers. From physically preventing other males from mating to bringing their sons in close proximity to ovulating females, bonobo moms bring new meaning to the notion of being overbearing -- but in so doing, they increase their sons' chance of fatherhood three-fold. (2019-05-20)

Bonobo mothers help their sons to have more offspring
In many social animal species individuals share child-rearing duties, but new research from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, finds that bonobo mothers go the extra step and actually take action to ensure their sons will become fathers. This way bonobo mothers increase their sons' chance of fatherhood three-fold. (2019-05-20)

Human ancestors were 'grounded,' new analysis shows
African apes adapted to living on the ground, a finding that indicates human evolved from an ancestor not limited to tree or other elevated habitats. The analysis adds a new chapter to evolution, shedding additional light on what preceded human bipedalism. (2019-04-30)

A surprise: Bonobos eat and share meat at rates similar to chimpanzees
Small forest antelope in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have more to worry about than being eaten by leopards. In at least one portion of jungle, Weyn's duikers are the preferred meat consumed by bonobos, according to anthropologists. (2019-04-29)

Need for social skills helped shape modern human face
As large-brained, short-faced hominins, our faces are different from other, now extinct hominins (such as the Neanderthals) and our closest living relatives (bonobos and chimpanzees), but how and why did the modern human face evolve this way? (2019-04-15)

Scientists left camera traps to record wild apes -- watch what happens
Researchers analyzed video from remote camera-trap devices placed in ape-populated forests throughout Africa to see how wild apes would react to these unfamiliar objects. Responses varied by species and even among individuals within the same species, but one thing was consistent throughout: the apes definitely noticed the cameras -- they poked them, stared at them, and occasionally tried to bite them. The study appears March 14 in the journal Current Biology. (2019-03-14)

Wild African ape reactions to novel camera traps
An international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, analyzed video from remote camera-trap devices placed in ape-populated forests throughout Africa to see how wild apes would react to these unfamiliar objects. Responses varied by species, and even among individuals within the same species, but one thing was consistent throughout: the apes definitely noticed the cameras. (2019-03-14)

Uncovering the evolution of the brain
What makes us human, and where does this mysterious property of 'humanness' come from? Humans are genetically similar to chimpanzees and bonobos, yet there exist obvious behavioral and cognitive differences. Now, researchers from the Salk Institute, in collaboration with researchers from the anthropology department at UC San Diego, have developed a strategy to more easily study the early development of human neurons compared with the neurons of nonhuman primates. (2019-02-12)

Bonobo: great ape with a tiny voice
Although bonobos and chimpanzees are similar in size, bonobo calls sound an octave higher than chimpanzee calls. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, explain this discrepancy with the fact that the vocal folds of bonobos are only half as long as those of chimpanzees of the same age. Whether or not other factors have contributed to this discrepancy is subject to further research. (2018-10-23)

Wild chimpanzees share food with their friends
Why share food with non-family members when there is no immediate gain? An international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig, Germany, conducted observations of natural food sharing behavior of the chimpanzees of the Tai National Park, Ivory Coast. They found that chimpanzees who possess large, desirable food items, like meat, honey or large fruit share food with their friends, and that neither high dominance status nor harassment by beggars influenced possessors' decisions to share. (2018-10-10)

Researchers gain insight into infant handling by young bonobos
University of Oregon anthropologist Klaree Boose followed her intuition about her observations of bonobos at a US zoo. She now theorizes that young females of the endangered ape species prepare for motherhood and form social bonds by helping mothers take care of infants. (2018-06-19)

Bridging the gap between human and animal communication
Cooperative turn-taking has been suggested as an ancient mechanism of the language system bridging the existing gap between the articulate human species and our inarticulate primate cousins. A team of researchers now provides an overview of the state of the art and present a new comparative framework on turn-taking to unravel the evolutionary roots of language. (2018-06-05)

A sense of disgust in bonobos?
Kyoto University researchers investigate the adaptive system of disgust in bonobos to further understand the origins of it in humans. A bonobo's curiosity transforms into caution when food is presented with or near feces, soil, or bad smells. (2018-06-03)

'Uniquely human' muscles have been discovered in apes
Muscles believed to be unique to humans have been discovered in several ape species, challenging long-held anthropocentric theories on the origin and evolution of human soft tissues. This questions the view that certain muscles evolved to provide special adaptations for human traits, such as walking on two legs, tool use, and sophisticated vocal communication and facial expressions. The findings highlight that thorough knowledge of ape anatomy is necessary for a better understanding of human evolution. (2018-05-23)

Bonobos share and share alike
Bonobos are willing to share meat with animals outside their own family groups. This behavior was observed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is documented in a new study in Springer's journal Human Nature. (2018-04-05)

Bonobo and chimpanzee gestures share many meanings
If a bonobo and a chimpanzee were to meet face to face, they could probably understand each other's gestures. In an article publishing 27 February in the open access journal PLOS Biology, researchers from the Universities of St Andrews, York, and Kyoto have found that many of the gestures used by bonobos and chimpanzees share the same meanings. (2018-02-27)

Bonobo and chimpanzee gestures share multiple meanings
Two closely related great ape species, the bonobo and chimpanzee, use gestures that share the same meaning researchers have found. (2018-02-27)

Unlike people, bonobos don't 'look for the helpers'
By the age of three months, human babies can already follow Mr. Rogers' advice to 'look for the helpers.' In fact, human infants naturally show a strong preference for individuals who help rather than hinder others. Now, a study reported in Current Biology finds that the same cannot be said of bonobos. While bonobos are similarly adept in discriminating helpers from hinderers, they show the opposite bias, consistently favoring hinderers over helpers. (2018-01-04)

Bonobos prefer jerks
Never trust anyone who is rude to a waiter, advice columnists say. But while humans generally prefer individuals who are nice to others, a Duke University study finds bonobos are more attracted to jerks. The fact that our closest primate relatives prefer bullies suggests that an aversion to creeps is one of the things that makes humans different from other species, and may underlie our unusually cooperative nature. (2018-01-04)

Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
Malaria parasites, although widespread among wild chimpanzees and gorillas, have not been detected in bonobos, a chimp cousin. Although the researchers saw evidence of a new malaria species in bonobos, it was limited to one small area of their range. This work helps the hunt for biological loopholes to potentially exploit the life history of ape pathogens to better understand how they cross over to humans. (2017-11-21)

Bonobos help strangers without being asked
The impulse to be kind to strangers was long thought to be unique to humans, but research on bonobos suggests our species is not as exceptional in this regard as we like to think. Famously friendly apes from Africa's Congo Basin, bonobos will go out of their way to help a stranger get food even when there is no immediate payback, researchers show. What's more, they help spontaneously, without having to be asked first. (2017-11-07)

Humans imitate in unique ways: Comparing children and bonobos
A new study compared children's capacity to imitate behavior with the same capacity of humans' closest living great ape relatives, the bonobos. The study found that bonobos do not copy actions as children do, which highlights the unique nature of human imitation. (2017-07-25)

In fathering, peace-loving bonobos don't spread the love
Bonobos have a reputation for being the peaceful, free-loving hippies of the primate world. But, researchers reporting in Current Biology on July 10 have discovered that despite friendly relations between the sexes, particular males have a surprisingly strong advantage over others when it comes to fathering offspring. For example, researchers found in one group that the most reproductively successful bonobo male fathered more than 60 percent of the next generation. (2017-07-10)

A new tool to decipher evolutionary biology
A new bioinformatics tool to compare genome data has been developed by teams from the Max F. Perutz Laboratories, a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, together with researchers from Australia and Canada. The program called 'ModelFinder' uses a fast algorithm and allows previously not attainable new insights into evolution. The results are published in the influential journal Nature Methods. (2017-05-09)

Study: Bonobos may be better representation of last common ancestor with humans
A new study examining the muscular system of bonobos provides firsthand evidence that the rare great ape species may be more closely linked, anatomically, to human ancestors than common chimpanzees. (2017-04-28)

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