OverviewAlong with the chimpanzee, the bonobo is one of our two closest living relatives. Their relatively narrow geographic range (south of the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo) combined with the political instability of that region, has made their scientific study extremely difficult. In contrast, there are dozens of wild and captive sites where research has been conducted for decades with chimpanzees. Because data on bonobos has been so hard to obtain and so few high-quality publications have existed, the majority of researchers have treated chimpanzee data as being representative of both species. However, this misconception is now rapidly changing. With the end of the major conflict in the DRC and a growing community of bonobos living in zoos and sanctuaries, there has been an explosion of scientific interest in the bonobo with dozens of high impact publications focusing on this fascinating species. This research has revealed exactly how unique bonobos are in their brains and behavior, and reminds us why it is so important that we redouble our efforts to protect the few remaining wild populations of this iconic and highly endangered great ape species.