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THE MYTH FALLS APART

Posted in 17/10/2008


ARE BONOBOS EQUALS TO CHIMPANZEESω

Self-titled primatologist Frans de Waal, Director of Yerkes "Torture Centre", of Emory University, wrote several books and presented many lectures and TV programmes. He turned to be famous because of a theory he invented. After visiting bonobos in zoos, he came to the conclusion that "they are peace and love chimpanzees", as the males let the females dominate them, they do not hunt, are not aggressive, homosexuality is a common practice etc.

Two researchers from Evolutionary Anthropology Max Planck Institute, in Germany, Martin Surbeck and Gottfried Hohmann, had already published papers that even minimized Frans de Waal\’s theories, as long as he had never seen a bonobo in the wild. The researchers, on the contrary, spent years studying this species in its natural habitat.

In a recent article published at "Current Biology" magazine, both researchers tell how they witnessed, many different times, hunting and consumption of monkeys by bonobos, who act – as the chimpanzees – in group and have a strategy to catch their preys. Females also participate of hunting and eat the meat of the hunted animals.

Again, both researchers, by demonstrating their work in the field, put in doubt the theories from Dutch primatologist, who lives at USA, and consider that they are "results of his creative imagination".