BONOBOS - OUR UNKNOWN COUSINS

2014, Nature, 3rd prize stories, Christian Ziegler, Germany Despite being humans’ closest living relatives, little is known about Bonobos and their behavior in the wild in remote parts of the Congo basin. Bonobos are threatened by habitat loss and bush meat trade.
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01 June 2011 A young female in Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a siesta after a big meal. Its lips are orange from clay it ate to compensate for toxins in unripe fruit.

01 June 2011 A young female in Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a siesta after a big meal. Its lips are orange from clay it ate to compensate for toxins in unripe fruit.

01 August 2011 The Congo River, up to eight kilometers wide in some parts, forms the biogeographic divide between bonobos and chimpanzees.

01 August 2011 The Congo River, up to eight kilometers wide in some parts, forms the biogeographic divide between bonobos and chimpanzees.

27 June 2011 A bonobo mother in Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, shares a large fruit with its child and playmate, while the male (on the left) looks interested but is not allowed to eat.

27 June 2011 A bonobo mother in Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, shares a large fruit with its child and playmate, while the male (on the left) looks interested but is not allowed to eat.

27 June 2011 Bonobos feed almost entirely on plant matter: lots of fruit, young leaves, and pith. Here an adult male enjoys some freshly sprouted leaves in Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

27 June 2011 Bonobos feed almost entirely on plant matter: lots of fruit, young leaves, and pith. Here an adult male enjoys some freshly sprouted leaves in Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

01 June 2011 A collection of food items which bonobos fed on in the months of June in Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The food consists mainly of fruit, young plant shoots, and pith of several understory plants, which appears to be the animals’ main source of protein. Bonobos also will eat honey, big insects, and—if they can catch them--small reptiles, birds, and mammals.

01 June 2011 A collection of food items which bonobos fed on in the months of June in Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The food consists mainly of fruit, young plant shoots, and pith of several understory plants, which appears to be the animals’ main source of protein. Bonobos also will eat honey, big insects, and—if they can catch them--small reptiles, birds, and mammals.

01 June 2011 An infant bonobo rides on its mother’s back while a group of the animals travels above between fruit trees in Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bonobos, like chimpanzees, move a fair amount of time on the ground, but are also excellent and skilled climbers.

01 June 2011 An infant bonobo rides on its mother’s back while a group of the animals travels above between fruit trees in Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bonobos, like chimpanzees, move a fair amount of time on the ground, but are also excellent and skilled climbers.

01 June 2011 A bonobo mother nurses its infant in Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Juveniles stay with their mother for a long time and depend on her for social status for as long as she lives.

01 June 2011 A bonobo mother nurses its infant in Salonga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Juveniles stay with their mother for a long time and depend on her for social status for as long as she lives.

04 February 2011 The intense gaze of the dominant female of a wild group of bonobos in the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, makes it apparent just how similar bonobos are to humans.

04 February 2011 The intense gaze of the dominant female of a wild group of bonobos in the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, makes it apparent just how similar bonobos are to humans.

04 July 2011 A young bonobo stretches its arms out during a nap following a long grooming session.

04 July 2011 A young bonobo stretches its arms out during a nap following a long grooming session.

14 January 2011 Bonobos, like other apes, build nests to sleep in every night. Here, a female builds a nest just to take a midday nap.

14 January 2011 Bonobos, like other apes, build nests to sleep in every night. Here, a female builds a nest just to take a midday nap.


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