Navigation Links
Despite 'peacenik' reputation, bonobos hunt and eat other primates too
Date:10/13/2008

Unlike the male-dominated societies of their chimpanzee relatives, bonobo societyin which females enjoy a higher social status than maleshas a "make-love-not-war" kind of image. While chimpanzee males frequently band together to hunt and kill monkeys, the more peaceful bonobos were believed to restrict what meat they do eat to forest antelopes, squirrels, and rodents.

Not so, according to a study, reported in the October 14th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, that offers the first direct evidence of wild bonobos hunting and eating the young of other primate species.

"These findings are particularly relevant for the discussion about male dominance and bonding, aggression and huntinga domain that was thought to separate chimpanzees and bonobos," said Gottfried Hohmann of the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "In chimpanzees, male-dominance is associated with physical violence, hunting, and meat consumption. By inference, the lack of male dominance and physical violence is often used to explain the relative absence of hunting and meat eating in bonobos. Our observations suggest that, in contrast to previous assumptions, these behaviors may persist in societies with different social relations."

Bonobos live only in the lowland forest south of the river Congo, and, along with chimpanzees, they are humans' closest relatives. Bonobos are perhaps best known for their promiscuity: sexual acts both within and between the sexes are a common means of greeting, resolving conflicts, or reconciling after conflicts.

The researchers made the discovery that these free-loving primates also hunt and kill other primates while they were studying a bonobo population living in LuiKotale, Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They had been observing the bonobos there for the last five years, which is what made the new observations possible.

Although Hohmann's team did have prior evidence for monkey hunting by bonobos, it came exclusively from indirect studies of fresh fecal samplesone of which contained the digit of a black mangabey. Yet, in the absence of direct behavioral observations, it was not entirely clear whether the bonobos had hunted the mangabey themselves or had taken it from another predator.

The researchers have now seen three instances of successful hunts in which bonobos captured and ate their primate prey. In two other cases, the bonobo hunting attempts failed. The data from LuiKotale showed that both bonobo sexes play active roles in pursuing and hunting monkeys. The involvement of adult females in the hunts (which is not seen in chimps) may reflect social patterns such as alliance formation and cooperation among adult females, they said.

Overall, the discovery challenges the theory that male dominance and aggression must be causally linked to hunting behavior, an idea held by earlier models of the evolution of aggression in human and non-human primates. Future work on the bonobos of LuiKotale may shed light on the social and ecological conditions that encourage their monkey-hunting expeditions, yielding insight into the evolutionary significance and causes of aggression, hunting, and meat eating in bonobos, chimpanzees, and ourselves.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cathleen Genova
cgenova@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. CITES caviar export quotas remain steady for beluga sturgeon despite threat of extinction
2. Despite awareness of global warming Americans concerned more about local environment
3. Books plea: Save the bonobos
4. Savanna habitat drives birds, and perhaps others, to cooperative breeding
5. Mothers little helpers
6. One species entire genome discovered inside anothers
7. UC health news: molecular pathway may predict chemotherapy effectiveness
8. Same gene protects from 1 disease, opens door to another
9. Researchers develop liquid crystal pharmaceuticals to fight cancer and other diseases
10. Using nanotubes to detect and repair cracks in aircraft wings, other structures
11. How mother of thousands makes plantlets
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/29/2016)... 29, 2016   Neurotechnology , a ... recognition technologies, today released FingerCell 3.0, a ... solutions that run on low-power, low-memory microcontrollers. ... less than 128KB of memory, enabling it ... have limited on-board resources, such as: mobile ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... Minn. , Nov. 22, 2016   MedNet ... supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased ... Medical LiveWire Healthcare and Life Sciences Awards ... award caps off an unprecedented year of recognition and ... trials for over 15 years. iMedNet ...
(Date:11/16/2016)... 2016 Sensory Inc ., a ... for consumer electronics, and VeriTran , a ... industry, today announced a global partnership that will ... authenticate users of mobile banking and mobile payments ... software which requires no specialized biometric scanners, yet ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... DIEGO , Dec. 8, 2016   ... a leading commercial provider of clinically actionable liquid ... patients, announces that clinical data featuring its Target ... to tissue biopsy for the detection of actionable ... results from research sponsored by Sara Cannon Research ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - OncoQuest Inc. ("OncoQuest"), ... commercialization of immunotherapeutic products for the treatment of ... an Antibody Manufacturing Development Program with Cytovance Biologics ... for its oregovomab antibody product. Supported by recent ... clinical study in ovarian cancer patients, OncoQuest has ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016  Vyriad Inc. announced today the ... company,s Board of Directors. "We are delighted ... our business and develop our oncolytic viruses as the ... Stephen Russell , MD, PhD, CEO of Vyriad. ... our vision and passion for making a difference for ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... resource recovery solutions for industrial facilities, today announced that one of the nation’s ... to use Cambrian’s novel water-energy purchase agreement (WEPA). Under the WEPA, a first ...
Breaking Biology Technology: