Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Nonhuman Primates: Within-Group Conflicts

  • Mateo Peñaherrera-Aguirre
  • Heitor B. F. FernandesEmail author
  • Aurelio José Figueredo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_617-1



Aggressive conflict between individuals within a group or community in nonhuman primate species, involving violent interactions, in certain circumstances leading to death of one party and fitness advantages to aggressors.


Intragroup killings are a common phenomenon in primate species. Whereas attacks among adults have been thought to be selected due to the benefits collected by the assailants such as eliminating rivals, gaining access to material and social resources, and ascending in rank, the evolution of infanticide has mainly been attributed to males restarting the ovarian cycle of lactating females and copulating with them. Furthermore, other adaptive hypotheses interpret infanticide as means of acquiring and retaining mates, eliminating competitors, removing the genetic presence of rivals, and rising in the social hierarchy. Some of the...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mateo Peñaherrera-Aguirre
    • 1
  • Heitor B. F. Fernandes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aurelio José Figueredo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Doug P. VanderLaan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Toronto MississaugaMississaugaCanada
  2. 2.Child, Youth and Family DivisionCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada