Lethal aggression in Pan is better explained by adaptive strategies than human impacts

Michael L. Wilson, Christophe Boesch, Barbara Fruth, Takeshi Furuichi, Ian Gilby, Chie Hashimoto, Catherine L. Hobaiter, Gottfried Hohmann, Noriko Itoh, Kathelijne Koops, Julia N. Lloyd, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, John C. Mitani, Deus C. Mjungu, David Morgan, Martin N. Muller, Roger Mundry, Michio Nakamura, Jill Pruetz, Anne E. Pusey & 10 others Julia Riedel, Crickette Sanz, Anne M. Schel, Nicole Simmons, Michel Waller, David P. Watts, Frances White, Roman M. Wittig, Klaus Zuberbühler, Richard W. Wrangham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Citations (Scopus)

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 mates. Alternatively, it could be a non-adaptive result of human impacts, such as habitat change or food provisioning. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-417
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume513
Issue number7518
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2014

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Pan paniscus
Pan troglodytes
Aggression
Food
Violence
Ecosystem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Wilson, M. L., Boesch, C., Fruth, B., Furuichi, T., Gilby, I., Hashimoto, C., ... Wrangham, R. W. (2014). Lethal aggression in Pan is better explained by adaptive strategies than human impacts. Nature, 513(7518), 414-417. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13727

Lethal aggression in Pan is better explained by adaptive strategies than human impacts. / Wilson, Michael L.; Boesch, Christophe; Fruth, Barbara; Furuichi, Takeshi; Gilby, Ian; Hashimoto, Chie; Hobaiter, Catherine L.; Hohmann, Gottfried; Itoh, Noriko; Koops, Kathelijne; Lloyd, Julia N.; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro; Mitani, John C.; Mjungu, Deus C.; Morgan, David; Muller, Martin N.; Mundry, Roger; Nakamura, Michio; Pruetz, Jill; Pusey, Anne E.; Riedel, Julia; Sanz, Crickette; Schel, Anne M.; Simmons, Nicole; Waller, Michel; Watts, David P.; White, Frances; Wittig, Roman M.; Zuberbühler, Klaus; Wrangham, Richard W.

In: Nature, Vol. 513, No. 7518, 18.09.2014, p. 414-417.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wilson, ML, Boesch, C, Fruth, B, Furuichi, T, Gilby, I, Hashimoto, C, Hobaiter, CL, Hohmann, G, Itoh, N, Koops, K, Lloyd, JN, Matsuzawa, T, Mitani, JC, Mjungu, DC, Morgan, D, Muller, MN, Mundry, R, Nakamura, M, Pruetz, J, Pusey, AE, Riedel, J, Sanz, C, Schel, AM, Simmons, N, Waller, M, Watts, DP, White, F, Wittig, RM, Zuberbühler, K & Wrangham, RW 2014, 'Lethal aggression in Pan is better explained by adaptive strategies than human impacts', Nature, vol. 513, no. 7518, pp. 414-417. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13727
Wilson ML, Boesch C, Fruth B, Furuichi T, Gilby I, Hashimoto C et al. Lethal aggression in Pan is better explained by adaptive strategies than human impacts. Nature. 2014 Sep 18;513(7518):414-417. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13727
Wilson, Michael L. ; Boesch, Christophe ; Fruth, Barbara ; Furuichi, Takeshi ; Gilby, Ian ; Hashimoto, Chie ; Hobaiter, Catherine L. ; Hohmann, Gottfried ; Itoh, Noriko ; Koops, Kathelijne ; Lloyd, Julia N. ; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro ; Mitani, John C. ; Mjungu, Deus C. ; Morgan, David ; Muller, Martin N. ; Mundry, Roger ; Nakamura, Michio ; Pruetz, Jill ; Pusey, Anne E. ; Riedel, Julia ; Sanz, Crickette ; Schel, Anne M. ; Simmons, Nicole ; Waller, Michel ; Watts, David P. ; White, Frances ; Wittig, Roman M. ; Zuberbühler, Klaus ; Wrangham, Richard W. / Lethal aggression in Pan is better explained by adaptive strategies than human impacts. In: Nature. 2014 ; Vol. 513, No. 7518. pp. 414-417.
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