6:01 p.m. - 2006-10-27
How are you? All is smoove here in WendellWorld!
Yesterday was R's Birthday! Yee haw! I was a bad wifey for not making him a gourmet dessert, but instead purchased cupcakes from this bakery. Picture a plump, cupcake, crowned with small chocolate curls resting on a milk chocolate buttercream...plus a mystery supersmooth filling of some kind (Chef Julie?). Damn. Ok, back to good wifey status! I think it was the best cupcake I've ever had. Twin Citians, hasten to Franklin Ave. immediately!
This weekend I made a quick visit to my Motherland of Wisconsin, where I saw many a crane, an elk farm, some deer, and a bald eagle!
In critter news:
Good news from the Amazon!
A new dinosaur was discovered in Utah!
In the "Ew, Gross" category, there is now fossil evidence of dinasaur stomach parasites!
Today, I'd like to continue the "sexual chocolate" theme outlined above, and discuss the famous Bonobo Monkey! My budster KZ requested this 400 days ago, so here we go!
First, a wonderful picture of a creature that shares 99% of their genetic material with humans, Pan paniscus: (Pic by William H. Calvin)
Bonobos share the same genus as chimpanzees, and in fact are one of the most recent large mammals to be discovered, in 1929. These apes are very similar, with bonobos being smaller (around 30 inches tall and 70 lbs for females and 32 inches tall and 85 lbs for males), hairier, darker in color and more upright-oriented than chimps. Bonobos also prefer a forested environment, while chimps enjoy a more open landscape.
Of course, the largest difference between chimpanzees and bonobos are their social interactions. In the patriarchal society of chimps, sexual relationships are resolved by physical aggression. Bonobos, in a matriarchal society, solve their power struggles through sexual contact!
Part of the reason bonobo apes are more relaxed is because there are equal numbers of male and female bonobos. In the world of chimps, there are many fewer males than females,because male chimpanzees fight each other for available females, often dying in the process! Therefore female bonobos are eight times more available for sex than female chimpanzees.
The bonobos casual and relaxed attitude towards sex is exhibited in every part of their lives; family relationships, territorial issues, even finding and sharing food. Instead of fighting, a bonobo pair (male/female or male/male female/female) will engage in tongue kissing, genital rubbing, or intercourse (which usually lasts about thirteen seconds). In one out of three encounters involving intercourse, the apes will be facing each other. Scientists didn't believe "missionary" style sex occurred in any animals but humans until this discovery! To aid in sexual stimulation, the female bonobo's clitoris and vulva are placed closer to her front.
Even though bonobos are much more often sexually engaged than chimpanzees, both species reproduce at the same rate, producing one baby every five to six years after the apes reach age twelve or so.
A picture from www.lasvegasmercury.com.
Named afer Bolobo, a town on the Zaire river, bonobos are fascinating creatures! I hope you've learned a little about another of our ape "cousins".
One final picture from www.pri.kyoto-u.oc.jp:
Hugs and hot primate luv,