Animal Behavior

Few will deny that the mass killing and extreme violence of war ranks among the worst aspects of human behavior. Considering this, it is not surprising that science has had a longstanding preoccupation with such questions as: How it is that we are capable of the atrocities of war? Is war in our selfish genes? Are we predestined to wage war? Did we evolve to wage war? One popular answer to these questions is that war reflects our animal side—the “nature red in tooth and claw” aspect of our human nature. Studying animal behavior from this perspective means looking for warlike behavior in other animals, which may give us clues about the convergent or divergent evolution of war. This entry discusses the chimpanzee model ...

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