Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Geneology of Kanzi's Family

Today I discovered the familial relationships among the bonobos at the Great Ape Trust in Iowa where Kanzi lives. I'm a visual thinker so I made this map to show how they are all related. The dates indicate the year of the bonobo's birth. Circle = Female; Square = Male. An E behind the date indicates that bonobo is actively involved in research; C indicates that bonobo is part of a control group. Notice that Kanzi is adopted but has never mated with his 'sisters,' notably Panbanisha who being similar in age would seem a good match. Perhaps bonobos are not sexually interested (for mating purposes anyway) in those they grew up with or maybe Kanzi and Panbanisha were prevented from conceiving any offspring. Note also that Panbanisha has produced offspring with the same male her mother Matata did: P-Suke, a male who moved to their group from a lab in Japan.


This is life said...

I will say that while Kanzi does not mate with Panbanisha, his "sister" this is actually a little strange. In bonobo culture there is no incest taboo unlike in other primates (include ourselves). Also noteworthy is that as bonobos use sex as way of diffusing anger there is not a specific age for them to have sex with another bonobo, meaning a juvenile and an adult could potentially "mate" even if not for the purpose of trying to conceive.

Field Notes said...

Yes, that is true about bonobo sex. Keep in mind, too, that bonobos in captivity live in entirely different social and ecological conditions compared to wild bonobos.