Chimpanzees – Deadly Trait

Chimps – Deadly Trait

Ambience: Chimps, Budongo Audio
Chimpanzees and humans share a number of common traits, including deadly violence to their own kind. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Hobaiter: chimpanzees are one of the only other species where they actually kill other members, sometimes of their own communities, sometimes of a different community.

Catherine Hobaiter is a Lecturer in Evolutionary Psychology at St. Andrews University in Scotland. She travels to Uganda’s Budongo Rainforest every year to observe chimpanzee behavior in the wild.

Hobaiter: And what we wanted to know was is this a natural part of their behavior, or is that a result of the rather strange habitats that there are now forced to live in as a consequence of humans really cutting down their forest or habituating them for research? So is this a sort of strange aberration that’s come about because of contact with humans, or was that just a natural part of their behavior?

The main conclusion of our study was that killing another member of your own species is a natural behavior for chimpanzees. It doesn’t happen very often. It’s quite rare. But it does happen naturally. So we were able to compare groups who are really in very degraded habitats. So that means they’re living in these fragments of forests with fields all around them and lots of human contact, with groups who are living in almost pristine, primary forest environments in very kind of remote areas. And we found out that we were just as likely to see chimpanzees killing other chimpanzees in these very natural remote forest groups, as we were in the ones that have a lot of human contact.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.

Chimpanzees - Deadly Trait

Chimpanzees and humans share a number of common traits, including deadly violence to their own kind.
Air Date:02/04/2015
Scientist:
Transcript:

Chimps - Deadly Trait

Ambience: Chimps, Budongo Audio
Chimpanzees and humans share a number of common traits, including deadly violence to their own kind. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Hobaiter: chimpanzees are one of the only other species where they actually kill other members, sometimes of their own communities, sometimes of a different community.

Catherine Hobaiter is a Lecturer in Evolutionary Psychology at St. Andrews University in Scotland. She travels to Uganda's Budongo Rainforest every year to observe chimpanzee behavior in the wild.

Hobaiter: And what we wanted to know was is this a natural part of their behavior, or is that a result of the rather strange habitats that there are now forced to live in as a consequence of humans really cutting down their forest or habituating them for research? So is this a sort of strange aberration that's come about because of contact with humans, or was that just a natural part of their behavior?

The main conclusion of our study was that killing another member of your own species is a natural behavior for chimpanzees. It doesn't happen very often. It's quite rare. But it does happen naturally. So we were able to compare groups who are really in very degraded habitats. So that means they're living in these fragments of forests with fields all around them and lots of human contact, with groups who are living in almost pristine, primary forest environments in very kind of remote areas. And we found out that we were just as likely to see chimpanzees killing other chimpanzees in these very natural remote forest groups, as we were in the ones that have a lot of human contact.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.