A great TED talk my friend found about Bonobo’s in the Congo and their amazing mental abilities, including primitive spoken and written language, understanding of human language, complex tool use, stone flake tool creation, and more. Its only 17 minutes so it shouldn’t take much time to watch. Their average brain volume (about 300-400cc), whereas one of our earlier bipedal ancestors Australopithecus afarensis had a comparable brain volume to Bonobo’s at about 480cc. I would argue that their cognitive abilities are closer to ours than they are to many of their other relatives including gorillas who even lack self recognition with mirrors.
One of Earth’s Other Intelligent Lifeforms