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Written on April 10, 2009, and categorized as Flip side.
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There is no subtle way to say it, so let’s just quote Auntie Beeb:

Chimpanzees enter into “deals” whereby they exchange meat for sex, according to researchers.

Male chimps that are willing to share the proceeds of their hunting expeditions mate twice as often as their more selfish counterparts.

This is a long-term exchange, so males continue to share their catch with females when they are not fertile, copulating with them when they are.

I wonder whether the Bonobo also behaves like that? In many ways, the Bonobo is a nicer animal, less aggressive certainly and more likely to resolve disputes with sex, which it enjoys, frequently, like the similarly big-brained dolphin.

We humans are both chimp and bonobo-like:

BONOBO

Bonobo communities are peace-loving and generally egalitarian. The strongest social bonds are those among females, although females also bond with males. The status of a male depends on the position of his mother, to whom he remains closely bonded for her entire life.

CHIMPANZEE

In chimpanzee groups the strongest bonds are established between the males in order to hunt and to protect their shared territory. The females live in overlapping home ranges within this territory but are not strongly bonded to other females or to any one male.

If meat be the food of love, let’s give the chimpanzees typewriters – or at least, start to regularly communicate with them using sign language, which apparently counts for recognisable inter-species contact. Maybe we’ll pick up tips for our humanity.

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