Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Hominidae Pan Pan paniscus
IUCN Status: Endangered
  • Common Name: Bonobo
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1929
  • Monkey Size: 104 to 124 cm (40.94 to 48.82 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Black
  • Habitat: Forest, rainforest
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Native Countries: Democratic Republic of Congo

Bonobo Distribution

Bonobo Characteristics


The bonobo[1] (Pan paniscus) is a great ape in danger of extinction. It is one of two species that make up the Pan genus, the other being Pan troglodytes – the common chimpanzee.

  • The bonobo is generally considered more elegant than the common chimpanzee.
  • Although large male chimpanzees may exceed any bonobo in mass and weight, the two species overlap significantly in body size.
  • The head of the bonobo is relatively smaller than that of the common chimpanzee, with less prominent brow ridges over the eyes.
  • The species has a black face with pink lips, large nostrils, small ears, and long hair on the head that forms a part.
  • Females have slightly more prominent breasts, unlike the flat breasts of other female apes. However, they are not as prominent as those of humans.
  • The bonobo also has a slender torso, narrow shoulders, a slender neck, and long legs compared to the common chimpanzee.

Bonobo With Baby

What Do Bonobos Eat?

What Do Bonobos Eat?

The Bonobo consumes these organic matter namely[¶]:

  • Antrocaryon (Antrocaryon micraster)
  • African Breadfruit (Treculia africana).
  • Ragleaf (Crassocephalum)
  • Treebind (Cissus)
  • Umbrella Tree (Musanga cecropioides).
  • Persimmons (Diospyros)
  • Goldenleaf (Chrysophyllum)
  • Aframomum (Aframomum)
  • Tail Grape (Artabotrys)
  • African Nutmeg (Pycnanthus angolensis).
  • African Mammee-Apple (Mammea africana).
  • Boleko Nut (Ongokea gore).
  • Boarwood (Symphonia globulifera)
  • Emien (Alstonia boonei)
  • Eben Tree (Dacryodes edulis).
  • Umbrella-Tree (Maesopsis)
  • Tallow Tree (Allanblackia floribunda).
  • Fig (Ficus)
  • Devil’s-Pepper (Rauvolfia)

Bonobo Facts

Pan Paniscus

  • Bonobos are both arboreal and terrestrial. Most floor movements are characterized by knuckle quadrupedal walking.
  • Multivariate analysis has revealed that bonobos are more neothenized than the common chimpanzee, taking into account traits such as the relatively long torso.
  • The bonobo, like humans, has highly individualized facial features such that one individual can be clearly distinguished from another, a trait that lends itself to the visual recognition of faces in social interactions.
  • Males form long-lasting friendships with females, and female bonobos, in turn, prefer to associate and mate with males who are respectful and easygoing toward them.
  • Due to the nomadic nature of females and the food evenly distributed in their environment, males do not gain an obvious advantage when forming alliances with other males or defending a range like chimpanzees.

Suggested Reading: Types of Apes

Cite This Page

APA7MLA8Chicago (2023, October 02). Bonobo. Bio Explorer. "Bonobo" Bio Explorer, 02 October 2023, "Bonobo" Bio Explorer, October 02 2023.
Key References
  • [1]“Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution”. Accessed October 17, 2022. Link.
  • [¶] – Seltzer, Carrie; Wysocki, William; Palacios, Melissa; Eickhoff, Anna; Pilla, Hannah; Aungst, Jordan; Mercer, Aaron; Quicho, Jamie; Voss, Neil; Xu, Man; J. Ndangalasi, Henry; C. Lovett, Jon; J. Cordeiro, Norbert (2015): Plant-animal interactions from Africa. figshare. De Boer, W.F. and Ntumi, C.P. and Correia, A.U. and Mafuca, J.M., 2000. Diet and distribution of elephant in the Maputo Elephant Reserve; Mozambique. African Journal of Ecology, 38(3), pp.188-201.


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