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The bonobo is an endangered great ape and one of the two species making up the genus Pan. Bonobos are not a subspecies of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), but rather a distinct species in their own right. Taxonomically, the members of the chimpanzee/bonobo subtribe Panina are collectively termed panins.
The bonobo is found in a 500,000 km2 (190,000 sq mi) area of the Congo Basin. The species is frugivorous and inhabits primary and secondary forests. Because of political instability in the region and the timidity of bonobos, there has been relatively little fieldwork done observing the species in its natural habitat.
The bonobo is the second closest living relative to humans, after the chimpanzee, and the ancestor of the common chimpanzee. Bonobos were probably separated from their ancestors by the formation of the Congo River 1.5–2 million years ago. The species is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is threatened by habitat destruction and human population growth and movement.
Bonobos are 98.5% genetically similar to humans. They are believed to be among the only animals, other than humans, who have sex for fun, as opposed to just for breeding. They are often called the "erotic apes," because they solve their conflicts through sex rather than violence.
Bonobos are not chimpanzees, they are a different species of apes. Bonobos are the only creatures that make love for fun, not just for procreation. And this brings them closer to us than any other mammal. They have been dubbed as the "Sexy Beasts".
Bonobos and humans are the only primates to typically engage in face-to-face genital sex. They do not form monogamous sexual relationships with individual partners. When they come upon a new food source or feeding ground, the increased excitement will usually lead to communal sexual activity. They choose to have sex regardless of the age difference.
Bonobos are often seen to be quietly grooming one another, hence, always so peaceful. Surprisingly, their communities are mostly run by females. More often than the males, female bonobos engage in mutual genital-rubbing behaviour and oral sex. They probably do this to strengthen their bond with each other, thus forming a female nucleus of bonobo society. The strong bonding amongst female bonobos enable them to dominate most of the males.
They are found on every continent except for a very small area of Africa, where poachers are hunting them for their meat.
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