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Bonobo (Pan paniscus) Fact Sheet
Species: Pan paniscus - bonobo
Male: 39 kg (86 lb)
Female: 31 kg (68 lb)
Both sexes: 700-800 mm (2.3-2.6 ft)
Black body hair; long and fine
|Distribution & Status
||Behavior & Ecology
Central Democratic Republic of the Congo
Other forest types
Endangered (2016 assessment) (Fruth et al. 2016)
Appendix I (UNEP 2019)
U.S. Endangered Species Act
Population in Wild
Largely unknown. Minimum of 15,000-20,000 individuals, up to 50,000.
Walk on knuckles on ground. Also move through trees. Wade in water. Can walk bipedally.
Communicate through hand and foot gestures; also, vocalizations. Sexual behavior has social and reproductive functions.
Omnivorous. Fruit, leaves, seeds, some insects and small vertebrates (snakes, shrews, flying squirrels)
|Reproduction & Development
Thought to be around 9 years of age
231-244 days (sometimes longer)
Age at Weaning
4-5 years of age
Wild: 40-50 years
Managed Care: Up to 60 years
- Similar ecology to chimpanzees- both are terrestrial and arboreal
- Found only in the central portion of Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo Basin), south of the Congo river
- Build nests in fruit-bearing trees
- Grooming behavior and sexual behavior important in social dynamics
- Extremely playful, even adults
- Adults show high tolerance for young bonodos until puberty around age of 8 or 9 years
- Bonobo society emphasizes female bonds but leaves room for male bonding
- Few remaining in the wild, mainly in protected reserves and sanctuaries
- The first pair of bonobos in the USA were at the San Diego Zoo in 1962. The pair, Kakowet and Linda, produced 3 male and 7 female offspring over 18 years at San Diego
About This Fact Sheet
© 2009-2019 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Minor update 2013. IUCN and CITES update 2019.
How to cite: Bonobo (Pan paniscus) Fact Sheet. c2009-2019. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/ bonobo
(Note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)
Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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