Re: cannibalism among chimps

Yousuf Khan (
Thu, 29 Aug 1996 14:35:28 GMT

On 28 Aug 1996 00:28:34 -0700, (/\/\ ) wrote:

>In article <4ve18b$>,
> (Yousuf Khan) wrote:
>>I don't know if this is the appropriate newsgroup to post this.
>>If it isn't then just don't post any responses in this newsgroup
>>and send me a message via e-mail telling me where to go.
>>I was watching a show chronicleing the life of various tribes of
>>chimpanzees. There was one tribe in which males would kidnap one
>>of the babies from one of the mothers and ritualistically
>>cannibalize the baby. Has there been any explanation found for
>>such behaviour, since that show aired? It seems to happen only
>>within one tribe of chimps, and they cannibalize their own
>>youngsters, not necessarily youngsters from neighbouring tribes,
>>which seemed particularly vicious to me (probably indicative of
>>deep tensions within the tribe).
>>Are there any sites devoted to this topic?

>Not that I'm aware of, but I know something that can add to your
>'database'. Another show, from Jane Goodall's study, showed a
>mother/daughter pair that would once in a while, steal a baby
>from within their tribe and cannibalize it. It was rather shocking
>to Mrs. Goodall. In time, the mother died but the daughter did not
>carry on this behavior.

You know, now that you mention that, I remember seeing that
original show too. Also weren't all of that mother's children
involved in the cannibalism, not just a single daughter?

Once the deed was done, the mother would go and console the dead
baby's mother as if it was something that was necessary to be

Yousuf Khan

Yousuf J. Khan
Ottawa, Ont, Canada
Nation's capital