Chimp Gangs Kill to Expand Territory
Some gangs of chimpanzees beat their neighbors to death to gain lucrative parcels of land, according to a ten-year study in Uganda.
While scientists have long known that chimps will kill each other on occasion, the finding shores up a long-held hypothesis that humans' closest living relatives sometimes turn to violence to annex valuable parcels of land.
Researchers observed predominantly male patrol groups sent out by a 150-strong chimp group at Ngogo in Kibale National Park in Uganda. The chimp gangs killed 21 of their neighbors between 1999 and 2008.
"Just fists and feet" were used in the attacks, study leader John Mitani, an anthropologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said in an email from Uganda. "Multiple chimps pummel the victims with both [appendages]. I think the victims die from internal injuries.
"Victims are usually