Although very similar in appearance to chimpanzees, bonobos were identified as a separate species in 1933. Their name is probably derived from the misspelling of a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) called Bolobo. Bonobos are found primarily in the DRC. They have black faces and pink lips, as well as a relatively slender build with long and black hair, which is parted in the middle of the head.

They subsist mostly on fruit, but also eat plant piths, nuts, seeds and small invertebrates. Larger communities often split into smaller groups that change in size and composition depending on environmental and social conditions. Females usually leave their birth communities before reaching sexual maturity. Bonobos enjoy unique sociosexual behaviors that appear to reduce tension. Females give birth to young every five to six years. The bonobo population is threatened by commercial poaching, habitat destruction and human political warfare.

Population: 20,000 – 50,000 (est.)