Scientists Rethink the Bonobo

Bonobos are not the solution to all of life's problems
This picture taken 04 November 2006 in t   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Bonobos—the chimp cousins revered by generations of naturalists for their peaceful, playful, apparently even eco-conscious attitudes—may not be quite as groovy as we've been led to believe. Much of the cult of bonobo has been built around data from animals in captivity, where, as one scientist says, "What is there to do except eat and have sex?”

The New Yorker traces the history of the bonobo's counterculture cred and follows some of the scientists reexamining the portrait of the apes as vegetarian, matriarchal, bisexual "hippie chimps." Bonobos hunt for food, occasionally kill each other, and worst of all, may actually have less sex than chimpanzees.