1 Tahrcountry Musings: Chimpanzees kill Their Rivals to Acquire Land

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chimpanzees kill Their Rivals to Acquire Land

The latest issue of journal Current Biology has a very interesting paper titled “Lethal intergroup aggression leads to territorial expansion in wild chimpanzees
 The paper give details about the first evidence that Chimpanzees kill their rivals to acquire land.
John Mitani a primatologist from the University of Michigan, David P. Watts from Department of Anthropology, Yale University, and   Sylvia J. Amsler from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Arkansas, have observed that the Ngogo chimpanzee troop in Uganda's Kibale National Park engaged in 18 lethal attacks led by Ngogo males on another, smaller group of chimps of    Kahama community between 1999 and 2009. In 2009 after the culmination of the bloody war the victors seized the territory held by the vanquished.
The scientists say this internecine fight resembles lethal intergroup raiding in humans. The prominent hypothesis suggests that chimpanzees attack neighbors to expand their territories and to gain access to more food. Females with abundant food supply tend to have more offspring. Territorial gains could also bring in females from neighbouring troops, offering more mating opportunities to the males.

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