Tuesday, July 06, 2010

So Much for the Myth of the Loving Bonobos

Beneath the velvet glove lies an iron hand, according to this article in today's Times:
Once, while in the Congo, I witnessed Tatango, this young male bonobo, start to do what the chimps in Uganda regularly did: he went up to the alpha female, Mimi, and backhanded her across the face. She gave him the most withering look. Within seconds, five unrelated females chased him into the forest. Poor guy. They almost took his testicles off. After that, he never made another problem. Bonobo females seem to know that if they stick together, the males can’t dominate.

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