People can learn from the peace-loving bonobos


11/03/2011

It is known that man evolved from apes, and 98.7% of its DNA is similar to that of chimpanzees, but we share one more similarity to one type of chimpanzee, which is not observed in bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees). This similarity - violence. While humans and chimpanzees are fighting and killing each other, characterized by peace-loving bonobos. "In captivity or in the wild has never been reported in cases where the bonobo killing each other" - notes anthropologist Brian Hare.

Hare is a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University. With the support of the National Science Foundation, he studied the behavior of bonobos at Lola ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a shelter for young monkeys, whose parents were killed by the meat traders. Congo is the only place in the world, home to these kinds of threats posed by a monkey.

"We have been visiting this sanctuary and watched the solution of game problems are allowed to try to understand and calculate their way of thinking" - said the researcher. "This is a wonderful animals in all respects.’s A shame that a few people have heard of them."

Vanessa Woods, author of "Bonobo Handshake" - the recollection of her experiences with these peaceful, fun primates - noted some differences between bonobos and chimpanzees. "Chimpanzees can be very cute, loving, but they also have drawbacks. They are fighting a war, killing each other, they beat their females. Bonobos do not do anything like that" - explained Woods. "They are different because they are able to live in a society with virtually no violence. How do they do it? People in the presence of intelligence and advanced technology and can not live without war, and I think there’s a lot we could learn from the bonobos."

Sometimes conflicts and tensions among bonobos may occur when mating. "Whenever in the world of bonobos a conflict, some kind of sotsiopolovoy helps everyone get along. But, in general, they refer to a peaceful society - they are more tolerant. They are more attentive to each other, and if one of them is upset about something , the other can hug and comfort him. "

In one analysis, Woods and Hare were surprised when a hungry bonobo opened a gate to share a meal with other bonobos. "We thought that the desire to share something with someone else may be appropriate only to the people." The generous nature of bonobos evolved, probably because they live in Congo, where there is enough food. They never have to compete with gorillas or kill for food, just as it is done by a chimpanzee.

The females come together, creating a matriarchal society, and when to rebel against threatening males. "Females will work together to protect themselves from male aggression. Such male aggression will not tolerate anyone" - said the Hare.

Among chimpanzees, the most vigorous males have a tendency to lead the team to dominate females and weaker males. In bonobo society, the relationship between mother and son dominate and command respect others. "Basically, bonobos -" my mother’s sons. "In essence, it will debut a society where mothers have to introduce their sons into polite society, and only through the mother, the young male bonobo will gain access to other females" - explains the researcher.

How can two such similar species, bonobos and chimpanzees develop differently? Understanding this phenomenon may shed light on human behavior, given that we are in many ways similar.

"People are probably the most generous view of the planet, like the bonobo, but who has a dark side to the character, like chimpanzees. So although the bonobos can not fly to the moon, they do not kill each other. I think it shows a great example of that means intelligence. And we could learn a lot from them. "

Original: Physorg Translation: M. Potter


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