Species Origination and Geographical Distribution
-The bonobo is the most recently discovered great ape in modern times. It was revealed in 1929 by German anatomist Ernest Schwarz that a skull once thought belonging to a juvenile chimpanzee was in fact a new subspecies of chimpanzee known now as the Pan paniscus, or bonobo. (Waal 6) During the Pleistocene epoch approximately 1.5 million years ago, the Congo River was formed in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (San Diego Zoo 2) The river geographically segregated groups and individual chimpanzees south of the river resulting in these chimps being reproductively isolated. Allopatric speciation took place as a response to new selective pressures and from this separated population a new species evolved, the bonobo. (Jurmain 121) Today the Congo River is the bonobo’s northern and western boundary with the Lomani River its eastern limit. The Kasai and Sankuru Rivers comprise the bonobo’s southern boundary, a total of approximately 500,000 sq kilometers. (Fruth) Bonobo’s live within the swampy lowlands of the African rainforest particularly the Congo Basin, its habitat a combination of semi-deciduous trees supporting fleshly fruit and secondary forests which accommodate both old and newer growth, mosaic forests with savannahs, and swamp forests along rivers and streams. Average temperatures in this ecosystem range between a humid 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit while receiving 5.25-6.56 feet of annual rainfall making for a tropical, green environment. (Primate Info Net) Classification
-Classification is a taxonomical system that organizes all living organisms in our biosphere into cohesive categories reflecting evolutionary relationships, thereby allowing scientists to study evolutionary descent among species in an orderly manner. (Jurmain 112) The bonobo is classified as a mammal, located within the Order Primate which includes all Old and New World monkeys,...