Bonobo’s are a bunch of hippies; they pretty much solve all problems with sex. Have an argument with someone? Make-up sex! Haven’t seen each other in a while? Good-to-see-you sex! Power struggle? Orgy time! As an exception to the ape exception when it comes to matriarchy, bonobos have a fully matriarchal society. The females band together and become stronger than any singular male. They form these bands by – you guessed it – having sex with each other. Bonobos are nature’s answer to anyone claiming that homosexuality is not natural. There are lots of other species with homosexual behavior of course, but none do it – pun intended – with as much vigor as the bonobo.
Evolutionarily speaking, the bonobo (also called pygmy chimpanzee) and the chimp separated around 1 million years ago. There is some research that says both species are close enough to us that they should be classified into the homo-genus. The largest known English vocabulary on a bonobo (at least according to Wikipedia) belongs to a bonobo called Kanzi at the Great Ape trust. He can understand 3,000 spoken English words. Bonobos can also recognize themselves in the mirror which may not seem like such a feat to anyone who hasn’t seen a dog growling at its own mirror-image. Recognizing yourself in the mirror apparently requires such higher brain functions that it’s used as one of the standard tests for a species’ self awareness. Which makes bonobos pretty darn smart on the scale of Earth species.