Intracommunity Coalitionary Killing of an Adult Male Chimpanzee at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda
- David P. Watts
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Intercommunity coalitionary killing of adult and adolescent males has been documented in two chimpanzee communities in the wild, and it was strongly suspected in a third. It may increase survivorship for the attackers, their mates, and their offspring by reducing the combined strength of hostile neighbors and/or by increasing territory size and food availability, and it may help the attackers to attract mates. Lethal coalitionary attacks by males on other male members of their own communities would not provide these benefits and are not expected, given the importance of cooperation among male community members in contests for dominance rank and in both defense and offense against neighboring males. Nevertheless, intracommunity coalitionary killings associated with struggles for alpha rank occur in the wild and in captivity, and observers have seen serious gang attacks on maturing adolescent and young adult males at Mahale and Budongo: the victim in the Budongo case was killed (Fawcett and Muhumuza, 2000). I describe a lethal attack on a young adult male by a large coalition of males from his community at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. The Ngogo community is the largest known for chimpanzees and has an unusually large number of males. The attack was not related to a struggle for alpha rank: the victim was low-ranking and the community had a well-established alpha at the time. However, the victim had risen substantially in the male hierarchy over the past few years and might have appeared threatening to many higher-ranking males. Simultaneously, he associated relatively little with most other adult males, had relatively few grooming partners and was not well integrated into the male grooming network, and had no influential allies. The combination of these social factors with the unusual demographic circumstances – which presumably meant that mating competition was relatively high and the cost of losing one male relatively low – might have triggered the attack.
- Clutton-Brock, T. H., Albon, S. D., and Guiness, F. (1982). Red Deer: The Ecology of Two Sexes, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Clutton-Brock, T. H., and Parker, G. (1995). Punishment in animal societies, Nature 373: 209–216.
- Boesch, C., and Boesch-Achermann, H. (2001). The Chimpanzees of the TaÏ Forest, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Butynski, T. (1990). Comparative ecology of blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis(in high-and low-density subpopulations, Ecol. Monogr. 60: 1–26.
- Byers, J. (1997). American Pronghorn Social Adaptations and the Ghosts of Predators Past, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- de Waal, F. B. M. (1982). Chimpanzee Politics, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
- de Waal, F. B. M. (1986). The brutal elimination of a rival among captive chimpanzees, Ethol. Sociobiol. 7: 227–236.
- Fawcett, K., and Muhumuza, G. (2000). Death of a wild chimpanzee community member: Possible outcome of intense sexual competition? Am. J. Primatol. 51: 243–247.
- Ferguson, R. B. (1999). Perilous positions, Foreign Aff. 78: 125–127.
- Goodall, J. (1986). The Chimpanzees of Gombe, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
- Goodall, J., Bandora, A., Bergmann, E., Busse, C., Matama, H., and Russ D. (1979). Intercommunity interactions in the population of chimpanzees in the Gombe National park, In Hamburg, D. A., and McKown, E.R. (eds.), The Great Apes, Benjamin-Cummings, Menlo Park, CA, pp. 13–54.
- Lwanga, J. S., Butynski, T., and Struhsaker T. (2000). Tree population dynamics in Kibale National Park, Uganda 1975–1998, Afr. J. Ecol. 38: 238–247.
- Marks, J. (2002). What it means to be 98% Chimpanzee, University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Mitani J. C., and Amsler, S. (2003). Social and spatial aspects of male subgrouping in a community of wild chimpanzees. Behaviour 140: 869–884.
- Muller, M. (2002). Agonistic relations among Kanyawara chimpanzees. In Boesch, C., Hohmann, G., and Marchant, L. (eds.), Behavioral Diversity in Chimpanzees and Bonobos, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 112–124.
- Nishida, T. (1983). Alpha status and agonistic alliance in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), Primates 24: 318–336.
- Nishida, T. (1996). The death of Ntologi, the unparalleled leader of M-Group. Pan Afr. News 3: 1–4.
- Nishida, T., Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, M., Hasegawa, T., and Takahata, Y. (1985). Group extinction and female transfer in wild chimpanzees of the Mahale National Park, Tanzania, Z. Tierpsychol. 67: 284–301.
- Nishida, T., Hosaka, K., Nakamura, M., and Hamai, M. (1995). A within-group gang attack on a young male chimpanzee: Ostracism of an ill-mannered member? Primates 36: 207–211.
- Pusey, A. E. (2001). Of genes and apes. In de Waal, F. B. M. (ed), Tree of Origin, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 9–38.
- Struhsaker, T. (1997). Ecology of an African Rain Forest, University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.
- Watts, D. P. (1998). Coalitionary mate guarding by male chimpanzees at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda, Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 44: 43–55.
- Watts, D. P. (2000). Grooming between male chimpanzees at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. II. Male rank and priority of access to partners. Int. J. Primatol. 21: 211–238.
- Watts, D. P. (2003). Reciprocity and interchange in the social relationships of wild male chimpanzees. Behaviour 139: 343–370.
- Watts, D. P., and Mitani, J. C. (2001). Boundary patrols and intergroup encounters in wild chimpanzees. Behaviour 138: 299–327.
- Watts, D. P., Mitani, J. C., and Sherrow, H. M. (2002). New cases of inter-community infanticide by male chimpanzees at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. Primates 43: 263–270.
- Williams, J., Oehlert, G., and Pusey, A. E., (in press). Why do male chimpanzees defend a group range? Anim. Behav.
- Wilson, M. L., Wallauer, W. R., and Pusey, A. E. (2004). New Cases of Intergroup Violence Among Chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Int. J. Primatol 25: 523–549.
- Wilson, M. L., and Wrangham, R. W. (2003). Intergroup relations in chimpanzees. Annu. Rev. Anthol. 32: 363–392.
- Wrangham, R. W. (1999). The evolution of coalitionary killing. Yrbk. Phys. Anth. 42: 1–30.
- Wrangham, R. W., and Peterson, D. (1996). Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, Houghton Mifflin, New York.
- Intracommunity Coalitionary Killing of an Adult Male Chimpanzee at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda
International Journal of Primatology
Volume 25, Issue 3 , pp 507-521
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- intergroup aggression
- conspecific killing
- David P. Watts (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Anthropology, Yale University, P.O. Box 208277, New Haven, CT, 06520-8277