Minding the bonobo mind

Book Section

In this chapter we introduce the central role the bonobo plays in testing evolutionary hypotheses regarding ape minds (including our own). The importance of bonobos has become apparent only recently with sustained fieldwork at multiple sites in the Congo Basin as well as the first direct quantitative comparisons between bonobos, chimpanzees and humans. This recent work has revealed a number of traits in which bonobos and chimpanzees are more similar to humans than they are to each other. This means that bonobos are crucial to determining the evolutionary processes by which cognitive traits evolved in our own lineage. Based on the evidence within, it becomes clear that one can no longer know chimpanzees or humans without also knowing bonobos. We argue this makes investing in bonobo research and improved protection for bonobos in captivity and the wild an even higher priority.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hare, B; Yamamoto, S

Published Date

  • January 1, 2018

Book Title

  • Bonobos: Unique in Mind, Brain, and Behavior

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 14

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780198728511

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/oso/9780198728511.003.0001

Citation Source

  • Scopus