Monkey Bidness

Got problems?  Why not play?

The Bonobo monkey is our closest ancestor in the evolutionary chain, sharing 99.5% of our DNA structure – and they may have a thing or two to teach us about how to deal with everyday problems.

Using variations on play in conflict resolution, relationship building, and the lead-up to procreation, the Bonobos have technically never been observed in any violent conflict whatsoever.  This is in stark contrast to their Chimpanzee cousins, who rely on violence to determine many of their social rules.

Bonobos function in a fully matriarchal society (mama’s in charge, heeeeyyy) and are the only non-human animal to have been observed engaging in all of the following sexual activities: face-to-face genital sex, tongue kissing, and oral sex.

TED video on the Bonobos, with never-before-seen footage in their Congo homelands.

Too bad these peaceful brethren are high on the endangered species list – what do you think this says about the evolution of existence so far?  Are survivors on a constantly changing earth more Chimp than Bonobo?  Which kind of society would you prefer to nurture?

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