Bonobos, the closest cousin to our species, can understand spoken sentences, use tools and even write using symbols.
Here is video evidence of an ape that lives a peaceful co-operative existence. A way of living that is in stark contrast with the more violent social structure of chimpanzees. What often attracts attention, is the ‘sex for peace’ practices of female-led bonobo social orders which differ markedly from the aggression often displayed in alpha male dominated chimpanzee communities.
Before we disparage chimpanzees though we’d do well to remember how conflict and warfare litters human history.
Our species has done well in the evolutionary stakes. While we’re clever enough to rule the world, maybe… just maybe… we have either forgotten or never quite grasped better ways to structure our societies?
Perhaps bonobos have some lessons they could teach us, if we’d just listen.