Chimpanzees and Violence


When people think of our closest relative in the animal world, the first animal that comes to mind is the chimpanzee. It has been found that the only two primates in the world that will engage in coordinated attacks on their own species (Lincoln Park Zoo). This being said, there has been a lot of debate whether or not human interaction and influence has caused this to occur, but recently that speculation has been put to sleep. According to the Lincoln Park Zoo, the suggestion that human encroachment on chimpanzees does not affect their violent behavior. In a study that was performed, over 18 chimp communities were studied, all having a varying degree of human influence. What was found, is that the majority of violent attackers and victims of attack are male chimpanzees (Lincoln Park Zoo). The information found in this data suggested that the acts of violence performed were driven by adaptive fitness benefits rather than human impacts (Lincoln Park Zoo). These results were critical, because scientists use chimpanzees as a model for understanding human violence, and they needed to figure out why they are being violent, if it was an outside variable, or just the chimps acting independently (Lincoln Park Zoo). With all of this data and interesting information, reading about the studies and things we use chimps for to help us understand ourselves is really interesting. The article containing this information can be found here, and I hope you find this information as interesting as I did.

Works Cited:

Lincoln Park Zoo. “Nature of war: Chimps inherently violent; Study disproves theory that ‘chimpanzee wars’ are sparked by human influence.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2014. <>.


1 thought on “Chimpanzees and Violence

  1. kbh5175

    Your post is very interesting. I never knew that chimp violence was studied to learn more about human violence! It’s crazy that chimps kill each other and essentially have wars the way humans do. Although I guess it’s the other way around because we evolved from them. I definitely agree with the article when it says that chimp violence is not caused by human interaction.

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