WASHINGTON (AP) - Scientists have mapped the DNA of the bonobo (buh-NO-bo), revealing that this ape is as closely related to humans as the chimp. Eventually this genetic map may help reveal secrets about how the darker side of human nature evolved.
A study released Wednesday by the journal Nature says humans and the peace-loving bonobo share 98.7 percent of the same genetic blueprint. That’s the same percentage we share with more violent chimpanzees.
Bonobos and chimps have distinctly different behaviors that can be seen in humans. Chimps kill and use tools better than bonobos. Unlike chimps, bonobos share with strangers. They also don’t kill. Duke University researcher Brian Hare says contrasting bonobo, chimp and human genes could explain the biology of peace.