Although both chimpanzees and bonobos are members of the great ape family of the genus Pan, they are distinguished from one another in appearance and behavior. Pan troglodytes refers to the common chimpanzee (which encompasses four distinct chimpanzee subspecies), whereas Paniscus is the name given to bonobos.
Approximately 1.5–2 million years ago, these apes, which are genetically quite close to each other, diverged into two distinct species (when they were geographically separated by the Congo River).
The variations in appearance, diet, and sexual behavior grew increasingly obvious after that. Sadly, chimpanzees and bonobos have something in common. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has designated both species as endangered due to human activities such as poaching and the destruction of their natural habitats.
When comparing chimpanzees with bonobos, there are several noticeable physical distinctions
When they reach adulthood, chimpanzees and bonobos have many distinct physical characteristics. Both have black fur and skin, hair everywhere except the feet, hands, and face, and disproportionately huge arms. Chimpanzees’ faces are pink while they are young and become brown as they age. Chimpanzees have noticeably bigger ears than humans do.
The bonobo is not much smaller than its close relative the chimpanzee, despite its other name, “pygmy chimpanzee.” Bonobos average roughly 40 inches (100 cm) in length and 81–88 pounds (37–40 kg) in weight, whereas chimpanzees may reach 47 inches (120 cm) in length and 88–110 pounds (40–50 kg) in weight. The bonobo gives off an air of deceptive fragility due to its smaller head and neck.
Finally, the two relatives’ modes of movement are distinct from one another. While the bonobo is nimble on two legs, the chimpanzee is more comfortable moving about on four.
Notable variations in habitat, way of life, and sexuality
From Senegal to South Africa, the chimpanzee may be found in a total of 21 African nations. The bonobo only lives in the wet woods of southern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The bonobo follows a plant-based diet, whereas the chimpanzee eats a variety of foods.
These two ape species are unique in that they are social animals. Nonetheless, they are not subject to the same regulations. To begin, unlike bonobos, where the females have the upper hand, chimpanzee males are the dominant force.
Also, bonobos and chimpanzees use their sexuality in different ways. Bonobos use sex to settle disagreements (both between males and females and between the same sexes), while chimpanzees use physical force and aggression to show who is in charge.