Are the chimpanzees aggressive or naturally violent to each other, or is it the human interference in their habitat making them hostile?
According to the study researchers, they carried a review of all known cases when African chimpanzees or bonobos killed their co-members and found that their violent nature is natural and such a behavior is not at all the result of human actions.
In simpler terms, human actions do not push the chimpanzees to raise their aggression up to a level when they carry lethal attacks.
The critics, however, say the study’s findings are inadequate as it has not given a correct representation of human impact on chimpanzees.
The researchers also said that even if the study is completely about chimpanzees, it also offers the latest salvo in a long-time argument about the aggressive nature in humans as chimpanzees are their closest relatives in the animal world.
Researchers found that the males are more likely to kill than their female counterparts. They also found that the killing of chimpanzees in other groups is more common than within groups’ killings. The chimps carry attack when they see irresistible odds on their side.
The study was conducted by researchers at Minnesota. They took help of wildlife officials and scientists across Africa to collect data for the study. Scouring through several decades of chimp research, the team of researchers documented violent instances among chimpanzee populations over time.
They found levels of violence were consistent but uninfluenced by the human pressure. The chimpanzees belonging to the Bonobo populations that are known for their peaceful in nature were found constant and less violent in nature.
Lead study author Michael L. Wilson said, “People have long been interested in chimps as a way to better understand the evolution of human behavior.”
Even if the study has concluded that the chimps are naturally violent and aggressive in nature but experts say many questions about the animal remain unanswered.
The details of the study have been published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.