Bonobo Monkeys : Bonobo Monkeys Pan paniscus spatial memory and communication, and gesture and language evolution. Gabriella Galdamez Abstract : Abstract Slide 3: Research has shown that bonobos are the closest evolutionary link between primates and modern day man.
By doing studies on evolved characteristics such as spatial reasoning and language evolution, scientists have been able to provide strong arguments for the theory that bonobos are our closest living relatives. A little information on the bonobo : A little information on the bonobo Bonobo’s : Scientific name- Pan paniscus. Often referred to as the Pygmy chimpanzee, lesser chimpanzee, bonobo chimpanzee or gracile ape.
The term bonobo is meaningless. Probably derived from a misspelling on a shipping crate going to Bolobo, Zaire (Now Democratic of Republic of Congo)
A great ape and one of two species making up the genus Pan.
Bonobo’s are found only in the wild in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans. Bonobo’s Bonobos are distinguished by relatively long legs, pink lips, dark face and tail-tuft through adulthood, and parted long hair on its head. : Bonobos are distinguished by relatively long legs, pink lips, dark face and tail-tuft through adulthood, and parted long hair on its head. Behavior : Females tend to collectively dominate males.
Bonobo’s are well known for their sexual behaviors such as engaging in casual sexual activity as well as homosexual contact.
Bonobo’s are the only non-human animal to have been observed engaging in all of the following sexual activities:
Face to Face Genital Sex
Sexual activity happens within the immediate family as well as outside it.
Bonobos do not form permanent relationships with individual partners.
They do not discriminate their sexual behavior by sex or age. Behavior Behavior : Bonobo’s haven’t traditionally been acknowleged for their use of tools, but have been noted to self medicate.
During the rainy season, there’s in increase in infections due to the life cycle of parasitic nematodes. Bonobo’s will swallow leaves whole during this time of the year. This behavior is considered self medicating in that they will typically chew leaves that they consume as food rather than swallow them whole.
The physical action of swallowing leaves with rough surfaces facilitates expulsion of tapeworm fragments.
They do not hunt monkeys but instead play and groom them.
The phenomena of infanticide, cannibalism and lethal invasion seen among chimps have never been observed among the bonobo. Behavior Communicative Behaviors : Exhibit evolved tendencies in their abilities to communicate with one another.
The natural communication of apes may hold clues about language origins.
Use of gestures with limbs and hands.
The ability to understand how they communicate, as well as cognitive measurements that take place during ape communication is a strong argument for the evolutionary link between primates and modern day humans. Communicative Behaviors Slide 11: Bonobos have an incredibly large learning comprehension.
Pointing behavior, which bonobos use to alert each other of a new food source, or an intruder is a behavior that appears at around age 3 in humans.
Vocalizations and facial expressions are also largely used within the bonobo community.
At least nine different vocalizations have been identified such as:
Facial expressions are one of the most important and useful forms of communication within bonobo society.
Aggressive Face. Spatial Reasoning and Memory : Bonobos have shown a strong ability to use spatial reasoning and memory.
Lexigrams have been used specifically with bonobos to help understand and train abilities in spatial reasoning as well as memory. Spatial Reasoning and Memory Experiment 1 : Experiment 1 Bonobo Spatial Memory and Communication in a 20-Hectare Forest. : A bonobo was shown a road sign just outside of its indoor sleeping area.
The sign indicated, by lexigram, where food was hidden.
Only 2 of the 15 locations were visible from the sign.
Distances ranged up to 170 m from the sign.
The subject was Kanzi, a 4 year old bonobo. Bonobo Spatial Memory and Communication in a 20-Hectare Forest. Lexigram : Lexigram A lexigram is a symbol that represents a word but is not necessarily indicative of the object referenced by the word. Lexigrams were notably used by the Georgia State University Language Research Center to communicate with bonobos and chimpanzees. Results : 99 of the 127 test trials, Kanzi went to the location designated by the lexigram.
When Kanzi did not hit the goal on his first move, his second move brought him closer to the goal on 74% of occasions.
In 127 trials, Kanzi made only one repetitive error, going back to the same food location twice.
Kanzi was able to properly demonstrate the bonobo’s ability to use spatial reasoning and memory by use of a map. Results Experiment 2 : Experiment 2 Ape gestures and language evolution : Study aimed to contrast brachiomanual gestures with orofacial movements and vocalizations in the natural communication of bonobo’s and chimpanzees.
Tests were done on whether gesture is the more flexible form of communication by measuring the strength of association between signals and specific behavioral contexts, comparing groups of both the same and different ape species.
The test included two captive bonobo groups and two captive chimpanzee groups.
A gesture was included as a form of communication only if it initiated a social interaction. Ape gestures and language evolution Results : Results indicated that both the facial and vocal displays were used in the same way by both of the species used in the experiment.
Bonobos were more flexible in regards to interspecies communication than were the chimpanzees.
Bonobos were found to be the only species who used more than one form of communication at a time.
They produced a total of 375 signals:
13.8% facial/vocal signals
7.8% combination of the two.
Recorded were 770 signals in bonobos across 7 distinct behavioral contexts.
Locomotion Results Discussion & Conclusion : Bonobos provide a stronger model regarding the pre requisites of not only language evolution, but the evolution from primates to humans, then other animals.
Behaviors involving communication, memory and responsiveness to environments shows a strong connection between modern day man and early primates. Discussion & Conclusion Bonobo Conservation Initiative : Bonobos are humankind's closest relatives, along with chimpanzees, yet most people don't even know that bonobos exist! They live only in one country: the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Bonobos were last great ape species to be discovered, and could be the first to go extinct if we do not act quickly to save them and their rainforest home.
www.bonobo.org Bonobo Conservation Initiative End : End