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Earth Science

Bonobos Join Chimps As Closest Human Relatives 259

Posted by timothy
from the but-they-make-terrible-babysitters dept.
sciencehabit writes "Chimpanzees now have to share the distinction of being our closest living relative in the animal kingdom. An international team of researchers has sequenced the genome of the bonobo for the first time, confirming that it shares the same percentage of its DNA with us as chimps do. The team also found some small but tantalizing differences in the genomes of the three species—differences that may explain how bonobos and chimpanzees don't look or act like us even though we share about 99% of our DNA."
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Bonobos Join Chimps As Closest Human Relatives

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  • Bonobo Chimpanzee (Score:4, Interesting)

    by busyqth (2566075) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:29PM (#40326027)
    What reason is there to consider the Bonobo and Chimpanzee different species?
    Is it just a matter of behavior? If so, has it been proven that the behavioral differences aren't cultural?
  • Re:Bonobo Chimpanzee (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:59PM (#40326537)

    They are also much less able to solve complex puzzles,

    I believe bonobos are usually considered to be more [apecampaign.org] intelligent.

  • No... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @02:06PM (#40326647)
    Foxes are members of the genus vulpes (the ones we see around are vulpus vulpus). The wolf is canis lupus and the domestic dog is considered to be a subspecies, canis lupus familiaris. Coyotes are a different genus again. Jackal is not a taxonomic description. The dingo is a subspecies of canis lupus and is derived from domestic dogs run wild.

    So the GP is right, and you are creating a complete straw man. Wolf, dog and dingo are all part of the same genus but for historic reasons dogs and dingos are only formally called wolves, not in colloquial speech. Foxes and coyotes are from different genera and are not dogs. "Jackal" is a colloquialism. Because pan paniscus and pan troglodytes are in the genus pan, they can both quite properly be called chimpanzees, just as we refer to members of the genus homo as "men", though we are no more like h. afarensis than bonobos are like p. troglodytes. When I tell my dog not to behave like a little wolf, he can reasonably argue that he is one, just one adapted for a specific ecological niche.

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