Hare/Woods interview

The science page of the NY Times has a conversation with Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods. Woods’ new book is Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo, which at the moment has a remarkably long series of five-star reviews on Amazon. A quote:

Another thing: bonobos are matriarchal. If its usual for female chimps to get pushed around and battered by males, bonobo females run things. Once, while in the Congo, I witnessed Tatango, this young male bonobo, start to do what the chimps in Uganda regularly did: he went up to the alpha female, Mimi, and backhanded her across the face. She gave him the most withering look. Within seconds, five unrelated females chased him into the forest. Poor guy. They almost took his testicles off. After that, he never made another problem. Bonobo females seem to know that if they stick together, the males cant dominate.

The interview begins with Hare describing how he went to Congo to discover why bonobos don’t fight with each other, so this is a curious twist!