If Apes Go Extinct, So Could Entire Forests

Bonobo poop matters. Well, maybe not the poop itself, but what’s in it.

You see, bonobos eat a lot of fruit, and fruit contains seeds. Those seeds travel through a bonobo’s digestive system while the bonobo itself travels through the landscape. A few hours later, the seeds end up being deposited far from where the fruits were plucked. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where new trees come from.

But what if there were no apes? A new study published February 27 in the journal Oryx found that many tree and plant species in the Democratic Republic of the Congo rely almost exclusively on bonobos for seed dispersal. In the LuiKotale forest, where the study was conducted, 18 plant species were completely unable to reproduce if their seeds did not first travel through a bonobo’s guts. According to the paper if the bonobos disappeared, the plants would also likely go extinct.

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"Human beings are not naturally war-like creatures"

1. Some of the earliest tools we’ve found are knives, axes, spears, clubs, and bows. 

2. One of the earliest recorded events was a battle. 

3. Prehistoric human bones very often bear damage from weapons. 

4. The earliest societies were not formed as matriarchal, bonobo-style hippy communes, but bands led by warchiefs for the purpose of being stronger than and exploiting and oppressing their neighbours. 

5. “Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing, and dancing sooner than war” -Homer, 8th-C BCE

6. When angered, a human’s natural instinct is to lash out and attack. 

War is the natural state of mankind. Beneath the civilised exterior of electronics and tolerance and decadent, evolved manners lies a fur-clad barbarian itching to bury an axe in someone. Some of us accept that more than others.