This tremendous little fellow is often thought of as the ‘forgotten’ ape Pan paniscus; the pygmy chimpanzee. What this whippersnapper lacks in stature he more than makes up for in the trouser department, as these are possibly the most promiscuous creatures on the planet.
Invariably when people speak of chimps they are talking about the bonobo’s cousin the common chimpanzee, but this chap is actually a separate species who also lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The bonobo’s appearance is slightly different, their legs are relatively longer and they find it easier to stand, they have a darker face, pink lips and long hair in a centre parting…. is anyone picturing Queen Victoria right now or is it just me? The bonobo live south of the Congo, their more famous cousins are found North of the great river, and it was only in 1939 that they were discovered, three centuries after all the other great apes. Incidentally when early explorers first discovered the great apes of the Congo they assumed that they were in fact human and strolled right up to them to have a bit of a chinwag… presumably to try and find out where one could find a passable gin and tonic in the area.
On to the obscene, you see the bonobo like to have sex all the time; mothers with fathers, fathers with mothers, mothers with mothers, sons with sisters, sisters with sisters, fathers with fathers, mothers… oh you get the point, basically everyone with anyone with the possible exception of mothers with sons… what do you think they are? Perverts or something?
Like many animals they are not afraid of a bit of homosexuality either. Male bonobos will hang from branches and ‘frot’ or ‘penis-fence’, or stand back to back and rub their scrotums together. Females on the other hand will scissor… I’ll leave that one to your imagination.
You see in bonobo-world having sex is just their way of getting along better and to say sorry. What is more it is their way of saying hello, how do you do and isn’t the weather much the same as yesterday as we live in equatorial Africa. When you live in a tribe of a hundred horny little chimps that is a lot of bedroom athletics to get through. They even have sex when they find a new food source… it is literally fair to say the bonobo have sex at the drop of a peanut.
One more thing about this naughty chimp, and one can only apologize to all our lady readers for all this lasciviousness, but the bonobo is quite simply the only other creature on the planet that goes for face to face sex, tongue kissing and oral sex. Apart from a single pair of gorillas that is, but all the other gorilla’s avoided them because they were a bit ‘funny’.
What is perhaps most human, and they really are “most human” being more closely related to us than they are to gorillas, is the bonobo’s compassionate nature. Learned types have stated the bonobo is capable of altruism, empathy, kindness, patience and sensitivity. In fact it is often mused that perhaps the chimps would be much better in the same genus as humans; Homo paniscus perhaps or even we humans could be reclassified as Pan sapiens. Of course no-one has ever asked a bonobo what they would like, they’d probably have to have a think about it… over a nice bit of rumpy-pumpy.