The bonobos he discovered are the only ones who live in an area that is a mixture of jungle and savannah -- the African plains. This forces them to walk upright more than they would in the jungle. That is why Ino thinks this is exactly the type of environment that would have given rise to the first humans.
"I really strongly feel that people may have evolved from this region," he said. "It's a big claim, yes, I understand, but I really think it is worth it to put it on the table."
The prevailing theory among scientists right now is that the first humans evolved thousands of miles from the Congo, in eastern Africa. The experts with whom we discussed Ino's theory dismissed it as far-fetched.
"I may not be taken seriously now, but I believe that within the 15 or 20 years after today, that claim may be proved as true," he said.
At the very least, his theory could draw more attention to the bonobos, and could teach us a thing or two about conflict resolution.
To learn more about bonobos and help protect them, visit:
World Wildlife Fund: http://worldwildlife.org/
Bonobo Conservation Initiative: http://www.bonobo.org
Friends of Bonobos Sanctuary: http://www.friendsofbonobos.org/