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Animal Behavior Roundup

February 17, 2010

A great ape called the bonobo never grows up.


Juvenile behavior from easy living. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Young chimpanzees naturally share food with one another. As they become adults, though, they turn selfish. Closely related apes, known as bonobos, continue to share throughout their lives. Two new reports in the journal Current Biology suggest that species like bonobos, that evolved in areas with lots of food and few competitors, are like Peter Pan—they stay childlike forever. While species with limited resources grow up fast, leaving behind juvenile traits like playing and sharing.

In other animal behavior news, British researchers writing in the journal Science have found that migrating butterflies and moths take advantage of high level wind currents to carry them on their long journeys. In some cases, the insects travel at highway speeds, covering thousands of miles in just a few nights. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.