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Behaviour of Bonobos and Chimps Tell Us A Lesson on Over-Crowding

By Edmund LimI refer to “6.9 million population is a projection: S Iswaran”

Even though it is just a projection, we must be vigilant against the false notion that having more youths will help bolster the ageing population.

The responses so far have been on data and projection figures.

Many economists have argued that more working adults are needed to help subsidise the chronic illnesses that plague the elderly.
With more working adults, they are necessary to pay the taxes to help drive and support the elderly.

However, from a biologist point of view, it may not be a healthy picture.

Based on a research study done between humans, gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos, scientists sequenced the genome of bonobos and chimpanzees.

Present day bonobos are more peace loving compared to chimpanzees which are more aggressive in nature.

Humans, chimps and bonobos all share a common ancestor that lived about 6 million years ago in Africa, when the human lineage splintered off.

Populations of the common ancestor of chimpanzees and bonobos had been separated by the Congo River.

Comparisons of the bonobo genome and sequences of chimps from various populations showed that chimps living just across the Congo River were closely related.
However, even though they are genetically related, once the ancestors of bonobos had been separated from those of chimpanzees, they may have found themselves in a very different ecological world. North of the Congo River, the ranges of chimpanzees and gorillas overlap, so those animals compete for food.

But no gorillas live south of the river, so bonobos face much less food competition.
In the absence of competition, the ancestors of bonobos may have been free to forage a wider range of foods in large groups, and share the spoils freely. When food is more consistently available, a lot of the aggression that you see in chimps, you don’t need anymore in bonobos.