- By engaging in social-sexual interactions, the Bonobos are showing off their social abilities.
- Bonobos are popularly thought of as the lovemaking cousin of the warrior chimp.
- Female newcomers to Bonobo groups needs to climb the social ladder, which she does in many ways.
When female bonobos join a new group, they will do anything to get with the "it" crowd - which often means having sex with the alpha female.
And according to new research, females of this promiscuous primate species who are climbing the social ladder will advertise their successes during sex by calling out, especially when their partner is of higher status or when the alpha female is in the audience.
"These females are climbing social ladders," study researcher Zanna Clay, a postdoctoral researcher at Emory University, told LiveScience. "By engaging in these social-sexual interactions, they are showing off their social abilities."
Bonobos, Pan paniscus, are closely related to the chimpanzee. The endangered apes live only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa. They are popularly thought of as the lovemaking cousin of the warrior chimp. And, boy, do they like sex. For bonobos, sex serves to ease tensions after conflict, show affection, relay social status, provide excitement and reduce stress. It occurs in virtually all partner combinations and in a variety of positions.