When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Future

Famously Horny Bonobo Apes Prove Platonic Male/Female Friendship Is Possible

In the 1989 film When Harry Met Sally, actor Billy Crystal asserted that men and women can never be friends – because “the sex part always gets in the way.” That may be true for humans, but it’s not the case for one of our closest relatives, the Central A

Bonobo apes at a zoo in Jacksonville, Florida (RobBixbyPhotography)
Bonobo apes at a zoo in Jacksonville, Florida (RobBixbyPhotography)


*NEWSBITES

LEIPZIG - Central African bonobos may be one step ahead of human beings when it comes to male/female relationships. Among apes, they're arguably the horniest of the lot. And yet they demonstrate an amazing capacity for genuine friendship between males and females.

According to a new study by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, high-ranking dominant males in bonobo society often seek to develop non-sexual friendly relations with females. They show this by getting together with females they are not directly related to for mutual delousing sessions.

Even during courtship phases, male bonobos do not try and dominate females – girl power is the order of the day. The research also shows that these cross-gender friendships are particularly beneficial for male bonobos.

Bonobos are man's closest relation, and, like man, live in groups of males and females. And while humans too may use sex as a way of easing tensions, researcher Volker Sommer says that the sex lives of most humans pale in comparison to the repertoire and frequency of sexual relations among bonobos. Sex for bonobos is the currency that guarantees harmonious coexistence. The apes use their marked sexuality systematically to ensure peace and solve conflicts without violence.

The findings are outlined in a report recently published online in "Animal Behaviour" by researchers working with Gottfried Hohmann, Martin Surbeck and Tobias Dreschner of the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology.

For years, Hohmann has been leading a bonobo research project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There, in Salonga National Park south of the Congo River, the German researchers have been studying the behavior of a community of 33 to 35 apes.

Read the full article in German by Matthias Glaubrecht

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

Photo - RobBixbyPhotography

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Coronavirus

Will China's Zero COVID Ever End?

Too much has been put in to the state-sponsored truth that minimal spread of the virus is the at-all-cost objective. But if the Chinese economy continues to suffer, Xi Jinping may have no choice but to second guess himself.

COVID testing in Guiyang, China

Cfoto/DDP via ZUMA
Deng Yuwen

The tragic bus accident in Guiyang last month — in which 27 people being sent to quarantine were killed — was one of the worst examples of collateral damage since the COVID-19 pandemic began in China nearly three years ago. While the crash can ultimately be traced back to bad government policy, the local authorities did not register it as a Zero COVID related casualty. It was, for them, a simple traffic accident.

The officials in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, of course, had no alternative. Drawing a link between the deadly crash and the strict policy of Zero COVID, touted by President Xi Jinping, would have revealed the absurdity of the government's choices.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ