It seems humans have a lot in common with chimpanzees. Namely our tendencies to kill one another. A new study is out in Nature, showing the violent, aggressive behaviors among the animal species. The use of violence has become an evolved tactic by chimpanzees to gain better access to land, resources and mates.

Before this study, primatologist have debated whether human interference laid the groundwork for an increase in violence among them. This study, conducted by 30 scientists, used data collected over five decades and 18 chimpanzee communities in Africa.

Commenting on the study, Joan Silk, an Arizona State University Professor, said it puts those theories to rest once and for all. The study confirms that the behavior was borne out of evolution of the species rather than humans affecting the natural habitats and helping push chimpanzees to violence.

It is the type of violence that is notable. Gang tactics are used by the male chimpanzees who team up with others to kill off rivals. The animals help hold the victim down as others kill the targeted chimpanzee.

This isn’t to say that all chimpanzees are prone to violence. The study lays out variations in differing communities that show that the species isn’t 100% prone to killing each other. Granted, we as humans have the ability to shape our behavior, unlike chimpanzees.

It is definitely one of the more interesting animal studies in recent years. Showing an animal species that kills using tactics that humans employ shows that maybe we aren’t that much higher on the animal kingdom chart.

Definitely check out the full study over at Nature.

IMG Credit: Wikipedia


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