Lethal aggression in chimpanzees is innate, not human influenced

A new research has revealed that chimpanzees have innate lethal aggression, refuting the theory of chimpanzees' inter-community wars being a result of human impact, such as habitat destruction or food provisioning, rather than adaptive strategies.

Lethal aggression in chimpanzees is innate, not human influenced

Washington: A new research has revealed that chimpanzees have innate lethal aggression, refuting the theory of chimpanzees' inter-community wars being a result of human impact, such as habitat destruction or food provisioning, rather than adaptive strategies.

Lead author Michael L. Wilson from University of Minnesota said that if people are using chimpanzees as a model for understanding human violence, they need to know what really causes chimpanzees to be violent.

Co-author David Morgan said that a key take-away from this research is that human influence does not spur increased aggression within or between chimpanzee communities.

The key findings indicated that a majority of violent attackers and victims of attack are male chimpanzees, and the information is consistent with the theory that these acts of violence are driven by adaptive fitness benefits rather than human impacts.

Morgan explained that wild chimpanzee communities are often divided into two broad categories depending on whether they exist in pristine or human disturbed environments, but in reality, human disturbance can occur along a continuum and study sites included in this investigation spanned the spectrum.

Morgan continued that they found human impact did not predict the rate of killing among communities and the more they learn about chimpanzee aggression and factors that trigger lethal attacks among chimpanzees, the more prepared park managers and government officials will be in addressing and mitigating risks to populations particularly with changing land use by humans in chimpanzee habitat.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

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