Bonobo, Democratic Republic of Congo (RG 9338)

Bonobo, Democratic Republic of Congo (RG 9338)

Bonobos are great apes and one of our closest living relatives. The Smithsonian Institution's Division of Mammals ( has no adult bonobo skeletons in its scientific collections. Thus, we have partnered with the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren, Belgium ( to provide 3D models of bonobos and other primates from their scientific collections.

This specimen, RG 9338 (, is a female bonobo (Pan paniscus) from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This female bonobo was collected in 1927 near the Congo River Basin and was first classified as Pan satyrus paniscus, a subspecies of the eastern chimpanzee by Ernst Schwarz in 1929. A taxonomic review by Harold Coolidge in 1933 elevated this taxon to species rank, Pan paniscus, and this specimen was designated as the holotype for this species. For more information about this specimen please visit the RMCA's website (

This is a CT scan of the articulated cranium and mandible of RG 9338.

We acknowledge the support of the European Union (EU NEST Pathfinder Proposal No 29023). These three-dimensional scans are made publicly available through the generous support of the Smithsonian 2.0 Fund, provided from the annual gifts of the Smithsonian National Board to the Secretary to use at his discretion (, and the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.

The main goal of this joint initiative between the Smithsonian's Human Origins Program, the Smithsonian's Division of Mammals, and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium is to make scientific collections of our closest living relatives, the apes, available in 3D for education and research.