Bonobos: Unique in mind, brain, and behavior


During the past decade there has been an explosion of scientific interest in the bonobo (Pan paniscus). This research has revealed exactly how unique bonobos are in their minds, brains and behavior. This book makes clear the central role that bonobos play as we test hypotheses relating to the processes by which evolution shapes ape cognition (including our own species). The book’s introduction describes the recent interest into bonobo cognition while briefly reviewing the history of research with bonobos. To place this new work in its evolutionary contexts, researchers from the two most active bonobo field sites start the book by reporting on recent discoveries regarding the social behavior of bonobos. The following three sections explore social cognition and behavior of bonobos from viewpoints of development, communication, and cooperation. Then the fifth section considers the cognitive abilities deployed by bonobos as they forage for and process food. The sixth section focuses on large scale comparison of bonobos to both chimpanzees and humans in their cognitive abilities and brain anatomy. Finally, the last two sections include chapters exploring the past and future of the bonobos, providing novel perspectives on how to promote the survival of this highly endangered species. These chapters are contributed by experts representing diverse disciplines and take together study bonobos living in a range of settings. They present overwhelming evidence for bonobo uniqueness and the new understanding this creates will contribute to a bright future for bonobos living in captivity and the wild.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hare, B; Yamamoto, S

Published Date

  • January 1, 2018

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 290

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780198728511

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/oso/9780198728511.001.0001

Citation Source

  • Scopus