Non-human primate conflicts have been explored in order to gain a deeper understanding about the evolution of human conflict and co-operative behaviours.
The spread of primate conflict Edit
The rate of aggressive behaviour varies greatly amongst primates.
Chimpanzee conflict (including lethal conflict) has been documented often. Most of the documented lethal conflict has been between members of different communities (and thus unrelated), targeting unweaned infants and outnumbered individuals, and has been more dominant in sites with higher population and male density.
"The most important predictors of violence were thus variables related to adaptive strategies: species; age–sex class of attackers and victims; community membership; numerical asymmetries; and demography."
Bonobos exhibit a lot less aggressive behaviour than chimpanzees.
Aggression amongst Guinea baboons is mostly limited between "gangs". They also behave less aggressively towards females.
The spread of primate cooperation Edit
Primates are social animals, and co-operation varies greatly as well.
The cause of primate conflict and cooperation Edit
It is suggested that the origins of lethal conflict amongst Pan species are not related to human influences (on the environment or provisioning). Instead, an adaptive value of inter-group conflict has been assumed.
Decreased expressions of aggressive behaviours amongst male baboons have been interpreted as proof that adaptive value exists for male-male bonding, even disregarding kin selection (i.e. less aggression exists even amongst non-related individuals in a society of related individuals). Creating coalitions is important to gain access to females.
"Multilevel social organization is associated with the emergence and maintenance of cooperation, irrespective of kin relations. Although kin relations may play a role in initiating cooperative relationships over evolutionary and ontogenetic time scales, they are not necessary to maintain cooperative relations in a multilevel society."