This segment from Evolution: "Why Sex? Although they are close relatives, chimps and bonobos have strikingly different social dynamics: chimps society is prone to violence, and bonobos are relatively peaceful. One theory suggests that a small change in the availability of food may have encouraged the evolution of today's chimp and bonobo societies. Researchers Richard Wrangham and Amy Parish comment on the group dynamics of the two species.
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Wild chimps who regularly gave away food were twice as successful with females as their rivals, researchers found. Previous studies have shown that males chimps often share their meat with females who do not go out to hunt. Although researchers had long speculated that this generosity was used to increase their chances of mating, there was little evidence that this was the case. Infant chimps 'better behaved' than human counterparts.
The male common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees had spines on their members that likely increased stimulation during mating, according to a new study in the journal Nature. Human males and Neanderthals dropped this trait, while chimps kept the spine. The penis spines, while improving stimulation, can also inflict damage on females during intercourse. The discovery, made after a detailed comparative analysis of human, Neanderthal and chimpanzee genomes, reveals that both humans and Neanderthals went on a separate evolutionary path from chimpanzees and other primates after humans often paired up into couples. The finding also bolsters the theory that humans and Neanderthals would have been sexually compatible and likely mated.
The bonobo is distinguished by relatively long legs, pink lips, dark face, tail-tuft through adulthood, and parted long hair on its head. The species is omnivorous and inhabits primary and secondary forests , including seasonally inundated swamp forests. Because of political instability in the region and the timidity of bonobos, there has been relatively little field work done observing the species in its natural habitat. Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans. Bonobos live south of the river, and thereby were separated from the ancestors of the common chimpanzee, which live north of the river.