Species (Pan paniscus) of great ape. It was once considered a subspecies of the chimpanzee, which it closely resembles in size, appearance, and way of life. Its range, the lowland rainforests of central Congo (Kinshasa), is more restricted than that of the chimpanzee, and it has longer, more slender arms, a more slender body, and a less protruding face. Bonobos eat mainly fruits but also leaves, seeds, grass, and small animals. They form communities of 50–120 individuals. A striking feature of their social lives is that they engage in sexual activity with great frequency, often as a means of settling quarrels, and with little regard for gender or age. Populations are shrinking, largely because of hunting and habitat destruction, and bonobos are an endangered species.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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