Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Chimpanzee Murder

Male chimpanzees routinely fight against the males of other troops, but only on rare occasions do they use deadly violence against a member of their own troop. It does happen, though, and it happened just recently in a troop in eastern Senegal. An aging male known to researchers as Foudouko, the former alpha male of the troop, was bitten and clubbed to death by a group of five younger males. When Foudouko had fallen from power a few years before, he and his second in command had been driven from the troop, but they had eventually been allowed back in at a lower status level.

When Foudouko was killed, his old number two was driven out of the troop by the same young males. Seems like a takeover by a new generation.

Which sets me wondering. How did they plan the attack? Did they have some goal in mind, like human thugs saying, "We're going to take out one of their guys to show we mean business"? Or were they just enraged?

Champanzees are so much like us, and so different.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

A group of humans can, without uttering a word, formulate a plan, communicate it to each other, agree to it, and carry it out - all in the space of a few seconds, using only body language. I see no reason to assume chimpanzees do not possess similar faculties.