This male bonobo chimpanzee may look like a dominant male, but he’s really just a big mama’s boy.
That’s because in bonobo society, the mamas hold lots of power – it’s shared between males and females. This alpha female is one of the group’s leaders.
Don’t believe it? Watch how she snap the sapling, and then struts her stuff in a way that would make any dominant male chimpanzee proud. The message is clear. This babe is boss.
These bossy adult females form strong bonds with their offspring, especially the males. All babies are intimately cared for through the first five years,
But eventually, young female bonobos leave the troop and find another troop to accept them.
The sons stay behind, and the one’s with the most powerful mothers become the most privileged males.
Bonobo mothers almost never discipline their young...even when they steal the food right out of mom’s mouth.
The whole clan benefits from this atmosphere of peace, love, good-vibes and huggy tomfoolery. Instead of body-slamming each other when two parties get in a tiff, these more enlightened beasts engage in a tension-diffusing moment of sexual release… with anyone in close range.
Bonobos are the very embodiment of the phrase “make love, not war.”