SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Chimps Show Lethal Side
from Science News
PORTLAND, Ore. -- In a cooperative venture aimed at understanding the
most uncooperative of acts, researchers studying different African
communities of wild chimpanzees have pooled their data and found that
the apes sometimes kill each other nearly everywhere they've been
Chimp homicides occurred most frequently in groups with the most
adult males, anthropologist Michael Wilson of the University of
Minnesota in Minneapolis reported April 12 at the American Association
of Physical Anthropologists' annual meeting. Wilson persuaded
researchers at 10 wild chimp sites, containing a total of 17
communities, to contribute their findings on lethal attacks collected
over the past several decades.
Chimps spend most of their time in peaceful pursuits, such as
playing, foraging and grooming each other. Yet researchers, beginning
with Jane Goodall more than 40 years ago, have described occasional
chimp homicides. Some investigators have speculated that these animals
get lethally riled up by human intrusions, such as deforestation,
hunting and feeding of chimps by ecotourists.
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