Evidence for the consumption of arboreal, diurnal primates by bonobos (Pan paniscus)

Am J Primatol. 2009 Feb;71(2):171-4. doi: 10.1002/ajp.20634.


We present evidence for the consumption of a diurnal, arboreal, group living primate by bonobos. The digit of an immature black mangabey (Lophocebus aterrimus) was found in the fresh feces of a bonobo (Pan paniscus) at the Lui Kotale study site, Democratic Republic of Congo. In close proximity to the fecal sample containing the remains of the digit, we also found a large part of the pelt of a black mangabey. Evidence suggests that the Lui Kotale bonobos consume more meat than other bonobo populations and have greater variation in the mammalian species exploited than previously thought [Hohmann & Fruth, Folia primatologica 79:103-110]. The current finding supports Stanford's argument [Current Anthropology 39:399-420] that some differences in the diet and behavior between chimpanzees (P. troglodytes) and bonobos are an artefact of the limited number of bonobo study populations. If bonobos did obtain the monkey by active hunting, this would challenge current evolutionary models relating the intra-specific aggression and violence seen in chimpanzees and humans to hunting and meat consumption [Wrangham, Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 42:1-30].

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cercocebus
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Diet*
  • Feces
  • Meat*
  • Pan paniscus / physiology*
  • Predatory Behavior / physiology*