International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 31–57 | Cite as

Intragroup Lethal Aggression in West African Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus): Inferred Killing of a Former Alpha Male at Fongoli, Senegal

  • Jill D. Pruetz
  • Kelly Boyer Ontl
  • Elizabeth Cleaveland
  • Stacy Lindshield
  • Joshua Marshack
  • Erin G. Wessling
Article

Abstract

Lethal coalitionary aggression is of significant interest to primatologists and anthropologists given its pervasiveness in human, but not nonhuman, animal societies. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) provide the largest sample of recorded lethal coalitionary aggression in nonhuman primates, and most long-term chimpanzee study sites have recorded coalitionary killing of conspecifics. We report an inferred lethal attack by resident males on a former alpha male chimpanzee (P. t. verus) at Fongoli in Senegal. We describe the male’s presence in the community, his overthrow, social peripheralization for >5 yr, and his attempt to rejoin the group as well as circumstances surrounding his death. We report attacks by multiple chimpanzees on his dead body, most frequently by a young adult male and an older female. The latter also cannibalized the body. Coalitionary killing is rare among West African chimpanzees compared to the East African chimpanzee (P. t. schweinfurthii). This pattern may relate to differences in population densities, research effort, and subspecies differences in biology and behavior.

Keywords

Chimpanzee Lethal aggression Pan troglodytes verus Senegal 

Supplementary material

10764_2016_9942_MOESM1_ESM.docx (38 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 38 kb)
ESM 2

(MOV 41133 kb)

ESM 3

(MOV 34485 kb)

ESM 4

(MOV 18147 kb)

ESM 5

(MOV 41434 kb)

ESM 6

(MOV 40792 kb)

ESM 7

(MOV 40513 kb)

ESM 8

(MOV 9840 kb)

ESM 9

(MOV 22269 kb)

ESM 10

(MOV 4255 kb)

ESM 11

(MOV 3257 kb)

References

  1. Baldwin, P. (1979). The natural history of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) at Mt. Assirik, Senegal. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Stirling, UK.Google Scholar
  2. Boesch, C. (2009). The real chimpanzee: Sex strategies in the forest. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boesch, C. (2012). Wild cultures: A comparison between chimpanzee and human cultures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boesch, C., Crockford, C., Herbinger, I., Wittig, R., Moebius, Y., & Normand, E. (2008). Intergroup conflicts among chimpanzees in Tai National Park: lethal violence and the female perspective. American Journal of Primatology, 70, 519–532.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bogart, S. B., & Pruetz, J. D. (2011). Insectivory of savanna chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 145, 11–20.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Buhl, J. S., Bonn, A., Ruiz-Lambides, A., Gonzalez-Martinez, J., Platt, M. L., & Brent, L. J. N. (2012). Response of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) to the body of a group member that died from a fatal attack. International Journal of Primatology, 33, 860–871.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Campbell, C. J. (2006). Lethal intragroup aggression by adult male spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). American Journal of Primatology, 68, 1197–1201.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Fashing, P., & Nguyen, N. (2011). Behavior toward the dying, diseased, or disabled among animals and its relevance to paleopathology. International Journal of Paleopathology, 1, 128–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fawcett, K., & Muhumuza, G. (2000). Death of a wild chimpanzee community member: possible outcome of intense sexual competition. American Journal of Primatology, 51, 243–247.Google Scholar
  10. Fedigan, L. M., Rose, L. M., & Morera Avila, R. (1997). See how they grow: Tracking capuchin monkey (Cebus capucinus) populations in a regenerating Costa Rican dry forest. In M. A. Norconk, A. L. Rosenberger, & P. A. Garber (Eds.), Adaptive radiations of Neotropical primates (pp. 289–308). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  11. Fiore, R. R. (2013). What defines us: An analysis of grieving behavior in non-human primates as a potential evolutionary adaptation. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder.Google Scholar
  12. Gintis, H., van Schaik, C., & Boehm, C. (2015). Zoon Politikon. Current Anthropology, 56, 327–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gonder, M. K., Locatelli, S., Ghobrial, L., Mitchell, M. W., Kujawski, J. T., et al. (2011). Evidence from Cameroon reveals differences in the genetic structure and histories of chimpanzee populations. PNAS, 108, 4766–4771.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Gros-Louis, J., Perry, S., & Manson, J. (2003). Violent coalitionary attacks and intraspecific killing in wild white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus). Primates, 44, 341–346.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Kaburu, S. S., Inoue, S., & Newton-Fisher, N. (2013). Death of the alpha: Within-community lethal violence among chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains National Park. American Journal of Primatology, 75, 789–797.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. King, B. J. (2013). How animals grieve. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lindburg, D. G. (1971). The rhesus monkeys in north India: An ecological and behavioural study. In L. A. Rosenblum (Ed.), Primate behaviour: Developments in the field and laboratory research (pp. 83–104). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  18. Mitani, J., & Watts, D. (2005). Correlates of territorial boundary patrol behaviour in wild chimpanzees. Animal Behaviour, 70, 1079–1086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Muller, M. N. (2002). Agonistic relations among Kanyawara chimpanzees. In C. Boesch, G. Hohmann, & L. F. Marchant (Eds.), Behavioural diversity in chimpanzees and bonobos (pp. 112–124). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nishida, T. (1996). Reports from the field: Mahale, Tanzania: the death of Ntologi, the unparalleled leader of M group [4]. Pan Africa News, 3(1), 3–4.Google Scholar
  21. Nishida, T. (2012). Chimpanzees of the Lakeshore: Natural history and culture at Mahale. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Nishida, T., Kano, T., Goodall, J., McGrew, W. C., Nakamura, M. (1999). Ethogram and ethnography of Mahale chimpanzees. Anthropological Science 107, 141–188.Google Scholar
  23. Perry, S. (1998). A case report of a male rank reversal in a group of wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). Primates, 39, 51–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Perry, S. (2008). Manipulative monkeys: The capuchins of Lomas Barbudal. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Phillips, T., Li, J., & Kendall, G. (2014). The effects of extra-somatic weapons on the evolution of human cooperation towards non-kin. PLoS ONE, 9, e95742.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. Prado-Martinez, J., Sudmant, P. H., Kidd, J. M., Li, H., Kelly, J. L., et al. (2013). Great ape genetic diversity and population history. Nature, 499, 471–475.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Pruetz, J. D. (2006). Feeding ecology of savanna chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal. In C. Boesch, G. Hohmann, & M. Robbins (Eds.), The feeding ecology of great apes and other primates (pp. 161–182). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Pruetz, J. D., & Kante, D. (2010). Successful return of a wild infant chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) to its natal group after capture by poachers. African Primates, 7, 35–41.Google Scholar
  29. Reimers, M., Schwarzenberger, F., & Preuschoft, S. (2007). Rehabilitation of research chimpanzees: stress and coping after long-term isolation. Hormones and Behavior, 51, 428–435.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Rose, L. (1998). Behavioral ecology of white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in Costa Rica. Ph.D. dissertation, Washington University in St. Louis.Google Scholar
  31. Scarry, C. J., & Tujague, M. P. (2012). Consequences of lethal intragroup aggression and alpha male replacement on intergroup relations and home range use in tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus paella nigritus). American Journal of Primatology, 74, 804–810.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Setchell, J. M., Knapp, L. A., & Wickings, E. J. (2006). Violent coalitionary attack by female mandrills against an injured alpha male. American Journal of Primatology, 68, 411–418.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Stewart, F. (2011). The evolution of shelter: Ecology and ethology of chimpanzee nest building. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  34. Stumpf, R. (2007). Chimpanzees and bonobos: Diversity within and between species. In C. J. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K. C. Mackinnon, M. Panger, & S. K. Bearder (Eds.), Primates in perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Talebi, M. G., Beltrao-Mendes, R., & Lee, P. C. (2009). Intra-community coalitionary lethal attack of an adult male southern muriqui (Brachyteles arachnoides). American Journal of Primatology, 7, 860–867.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tokuyama, N., Emikey, B., Bafike, B., Isolumbo, B., Iyokango, B., et al. (2012). Bonobos apparently search for a lost member injured by a snare. Primates, 53, 215–219.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Valero, A., Schaffner, C. M., Vick, L. G., Aureli, F., & Ramos-Fernandez, G. (2006). Intragroup lethal aggression in wild spider monkeys. American Journal of Primatology, 68, 732–737.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Mulenga, I. C., Bodamer, M. D., & Cronin, K. A. (2016). Chimpanzees’ responses to the dead body of a 9-year-old group member. American Journal of Primatology. doi:10.1002/ajp.22560.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Watts, D. P. (2004). Intracommunity coalitionary killing of an adult male chimpanzee at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. International Journal of Primatology, 25, 507–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wilson, M. L., Boesch, C., Gilby, I. C., Hohmann, G., Itoh, N., et al. (2014). Rates of lethal aggression in chimpanzees depend on the number of adult males rather than measures of human disturbance. Nature, 513, 414–417.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Wrangham, R. W. (1999). Evolution of coalitionary killing. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 110, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wrangham, R. W., & Peterson, D. (1996). Demonic males: Apes and the evolution of human aggression. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.Google Scholar
  43. Yamakoshi, G. (2004). Food seasonality and socioecology in Pan: are West African chimpanzees another bonobo? African Study Monographs, 25, 45–60.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jill D. Pruetz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kelly Boyer Ontl
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elizabeth Cleaveland
    • 1
  • Stacy Lindshield
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joshua Marshack
    • 4
  • Erin G. Wessling
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Interdepartmental Graduate ProgramIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  3. 3.Department of Social SciencesMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of AnthropologyWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  5. 5.Department of PrimatologyMax Planck Institute for Evolutionary AnthropologyLeipzigGermany

Personalised recommendations