Bonobo monkey is the smartest monkey in the world

Bonobo monkey is the smartest monkey in the world
Bonobo monkey is the smartest monkey in the world

Specialists who study the life of primates have come to the consensus that the most intelligent monkey in the world is the bonobo (a kind of chimpanzee, it is also called the pygmy chimpanzee). This species is the closest to humans of all known animals on our planet. Scientists joke that bonobos are 99.4% human.

Features of the species

Unlike other varieties of chimpanzees, as, indeed, varieties of other primates, the bonobo monkey has the largest number of behavioral traits characteristic of humans. For example, American scientists managed to teach a pygmy chimpanzee, who was named Kanzi, to understand about three thousand words. What's more, he could use over 500 words using a geometric keyboard.

bonobo monkey

Other experiments were conducted, which led to the conclusion that the bonobo is the smartest monkey. This breed does not stand out as a separate species and belongs to the chimpanzee. Bonobos always, even while eating, actively communicate with each other using a special system of sounds that has not been deciphered to date. Their brains are much more developed than other monkeys.

The pygmy chimpanzee is able to perceive other sign systems. Contained inIn captivity, the experimenter gives the animal to remember 20-30 signs and their sound equivalent. The primate remembers various commands in this language and then, when pronouncing previously unheard commands, performs certain actions, for example: “take a chair out of the room”, “soap the ball”, etc. Well, after that, who will dispute the statement that the smartest monkey – bonobos.

smartest monkey bonobo

The hominin and chimpanzee lineages split about five and a half million years ago. This species developed more slowly than common chimpanzees, and for this reason, these animals retained much more of the archaic features inherent in humans and chimpanzees. Moreover, the set of genes of this pygmy monkey coincides with human genes by 98%. Without pretreatment, bonobo blood can be transfused to humans. And the blood, for example, of an ordinary chimpanzee needs to be previously removed by antibodies.

External Features

It is not known why this animal was called a dwarf - the bonobo monkey is in no way inferior to its ordinary relatives in size. Males weigh from 35 to 60 kilograms, but more often their weight is fixed in the region of 45 kilograms. Females, as expected, are more graceful. Their weight does not exceed 35 kilograms. The height of an adult is about 115 centimeters.

The bonobo monkey, the photo of which we posted in this article, has a rather large head. Superciliary ridges are clearly visible above the eyes, although they are poorly developed. The whole body is covered with black skin, except for the lips. They are at thisthe monkeys are pink, standing out well against a dark background. High forehead, small ears, wide nostrils. There are long hairs on the head. Females have more developed mammary glands than other species.

The bonabo monkey has a slender body with a thin neck and long legs. Animals make loud barking sounds.


The bonabo monkey lives in the only place on our planet. It is located in the Congo Basin (Central Africa). This area, about five hundred thousand square kilometers in size, is covered with dense tropical vegetation. Today, about fifty thousand representatives of this species live here.


Bonobos prefer collective living. Their number reaches one hundred individuals (adults and cubs). Despite being smaller than males, females have a higher social status. This is due to the fact that the "ladies" are more united and organized than the representatives of the opposite sex. If a female came into conflict with a male, then other females immediately rush to her defense, and no one protects the male.

the smartest monkey in the world bonobos

During the day, pygmy chimpanzees spend time and "communicate" in small groups, and when it's time for a night's sleep, the family unites. As a rule, these monkeys spend the night in nests that they build on tree branches. Compared to other primates, their social hierarchy is not as strict.


All monkeys love to play. But bonobo to thisthe question is approached "professionally". They are especially resourceful. The cubs constantly make funny faces and act out real pantomimes, even when there are no spectators nearby.

Observers describe how the bonobo had fun: the monkey covered his eyes with a piece of banana leaf or hands and began to spin, jump on relatives or jump over bumps - until he fell, losing balance. After a short rest, she continued her exciting activity.

smartest monkey breed

Probably, the bonobo monkey has retained some of the features of our ancient common ancestors, in a less modified form. Obviously, the reconstruction of the social relationships of our ancestors and their behavior will not be complete without taking into account the behavioral characteristics that are inherent in both bonobos and chimpanzees.


Bonobo monkeys are omnivores. Fruits make up the bulk of their diet. In addition, they eat plants and invertebrates. Present in their menu and a small part of animal food. They can handle small antelopes, squirrels, etc.

Japanese scientists, who have been observing the life of these animals for a long time, claim that cannibalism exists among these monkeys, in any case, they recorded one such episode. In 2008, adult monkeys ate a dead baby.


The birth rate of this species is very low. Females give birth once every four to six years. Only one baby is born. Pregnancy lasts approximately two hundred and forty days. Thoughtfulmother feeds her baby for three years. Sexual maturity in bonobos occurs only at the age of thirteen. Interestingly, throughout their lives, the cubs maintain kinship with their mother. Under natural conditions, the bonobo monkey lives for about forty years. In captivity (in zoos), they live up to sixty years. This is a very rare case when an animal in captivity lives longer than in its natural environment. And another interesting feature - bonobos never develop SIV - immunodeficiency virus (monkeys).

smartest monkey in the world


Today, scientists around the world are concerned about the fate of these unique animals. Active destruction of forests, instability in Central Africa does not contribute to the well-being of this species. Now the number of bonobos in the rainforests is rapidly declining. Unfortunately, the reproduction rate of this species is very low.

The smartest monkey in the world

The list of the most intelligent animals on our planet is unconditionally headed by great apes. But even among them there are outstanding representatives who have such abilities that there is not even a shadow of a doubt that they have intelligence that is close to human.

In 2007, the world-famous smartest monkey, the chimpanzee Washoe, died. She was 42 years old. It was the first representative of primates "speaking" with the help of sign language. For full communication, this unusually smart monkey lacked only the larynx and vocal cords, which she was deprived ofnature.

bonobo monkey

Interesting Bonobo Facts

Research scientists have shown that the brain of a pygmy chimpanzee is significantly different from the brain of its ordinary relatives. It is larger and more developed. In this regard, these animals may experience a sense of empathy, tenderness, and anxiety. Bonobos are peaceful creatures that profess love. The absence of hostility and aggressiveness is a very rare, even, one might say, unique quality among animals.

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