Animal minds Naturalism

Humans not responsible for chimpanzees killing each other?

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No? Well, not according to a recent article in Nature:

Abstract: Observations of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus) provide valuable comparative data for understanding the significance of conspecific killing. Two kinds of hypothesis have been proposed. Lethal violence is sometimes concluded to be the result of adaptive strategies, such that killers ultimately gain fitness benefits by increasing their access to resources such as food or mates1,2,3,4,5. Alternatively, it could be a non-adaptive result of human impacts, such as habitat change or food provisioning6,7,8,9. To discriminate between these hypotheses we compiled information from 18 chimpanzee communities and 4 bonobo communities studied over five decades. Our data include 152 killings (n = 58 observed, 41 inferred, and 53 suspected killings) by chimpanzees in 15 communities and one suspected killing by bonobos. We found that males were the most frequent attackers (92% of participants) and victims (73%); most killings (66%) involved intercommunity attacks; and attackers greatly outnumbered their victims (median 8:1 ratio). Variation in killing rates was unrelated to measures of human impacts. Our results are compatible with previously proposed adaptive explanations for killing by chimpanzees, whereas the human impact hypothesis is not supported. (paywall) – Michael L. Wilson, Christophe Boesch[…]Richard W. Wrangham, Lethal aggression in Pan is better explained by adaptive strategies than human impacts, Nature 513, 414–417 (18 September 2014) doi:10.1038/nature13727

Is it possible that chimpanzees kill each other at that rate because they cannot develop other strategies for mediating power?

See also: Claim: Bonobos help strangers without being asked, therefore humans are not special

Intelligence tests are unfair to apes

and

Are apes entering the Stone Age?

There are many grislier episodes filmed; this one may be okay to watch:

One Reply to “Humans not responsible for chimpanzees killing each other?

  1. 1
    Molson Bleu says:

    I don’t know what this means, but it is very interesting that the percentages listed in the abstract are not very different than we see wil humans.

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