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The Bonobo (IPA: /bəˈnoʊboʊ/, Pan paniscus), until recently usually called the Pygmy Chimpanzee (and less often the Dwarf or Gracile Chimpanzee), is one of the two species making up the chimpanzee genus, Pan. The other species in genus Pan is Pan troglodytes, or the Common Chimpanzee. Although the name "chimpanzee" is sometimes used to refer to both species together, it is usually understood as referring to the Common Chimpanzee. The Bonobo is endangered, and is found in the wild only in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Along with the Common Chimpanzee, the Bonobo is the closest relative to Humans.

German anatomist Ernst Schwarz is credited with having discovered the Bonobo in 1928, based on his analysis of a skull in the Tervuren museum in Belgium that had been thought to have belonged to a juvenile chimpanzee. Schwarz published his findings in 1929. In 1933, American anatomist Harold Coolidge offered a more detailed description of the Bonobo, and elevated it to species status. The species is distinguished by relatively long legs, parted hair on their head, a matriarchal culture, and the prominent role of sexual activity in its society.

This primate is mainly frugivorous, but supplements its diet with leaves and sometimes small vertebrates (such as flying squirrels and infant duikers and invertebrates.


Common name

The name Bonobo first appeared in 1954, when Edward Tratz and Heinz Heck proposed it as a new and separate generic term for pygmy chimpanzees. The term has been variously reported as being a word for "chimpanzee" or "ancestor" in a Bantu language. Another suggestion is that the name is a misspelling of the name of the town of Bolobo on the Congo River, which has been associated with the collection of chimps in the 1920s.

Source: encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com

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