Bonobos, along with chimpanzees, are the closest living relations to humans. Other than that, the only thing most humans know about bonobos is that they’re pretty famous for liking sex, maybe even more than humans do. Less hang ups. More free time. More sex.
So, of course, scientists love to study bonobos. Scientists who recently spent an entire year studying the erotic apes have learned that bonobos who cry out during sex—those who make a lot of lusty bonobo I’ll-have-what-she’s-having kinds of sounds—are doing so to “advertise their sexual encounters.” Bonobos especially make more noise when they’re having sex with partner who is more “socially important” than she is, especially when we’re talking about girl-on-girl bonobo sex.
The findings about the social aspects of bonobo sex sounds (we wonder where we can get a sound file, help us out?) were published in the journal Biology Letters. Researcher Zanna Clay of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, said that the study “sheds light on one of the most neglected aspects of their behavior, their vocal communication,” but cautioned that “much more research on bonobo behavior and communication is required.”
Well, of course it is! This is science! These are bonobos! Take all the time you need, Zanna. We’ll be waiting, and probably “crying out” whenever we get some more bonobo science news … because we like it so much. We really do. AND because scientists have pretty high social status. You know?