Campus Units

Anthropology

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date

9-2014

Journal or Book Title

Nature

Volume

53

Issue

7518

First Page

414

Last Page

417

DOI

10.1038/nature13727

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.

Comments

This is a manuscript of an article from Nature 513 (2014): 414, doi:10.1038/nature13727. Posted with permission.

Rights

© 2014 This item is protected by original copyright. This work is made available online in accordance with publisher policies. This is an author version of this work which may vary slightly from the published version. To see the final definitive version of this paper please visit the publisher’s website.

Copyright Owner

The Authors

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Published Version

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