[Tweeters] Re: murderous behavior

Guy McWethy lguy_mcw at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 19 16:19:37 PDT 2005

I seem to recall reading that sick individuals are
sometimes attacked and killed because their illness
causes them to behave differently, and this abberant
behavior triggers an attack. Probably an instinctive
reaction to remove a diseased individual from the
population before it can further spread the disease.

Siblicide (siblings killing one another) is not
uncommon in bird nestlings during times when the
parents can not provide enough food.

Also, Jane Goodall documented cannibalism in
Chimpanzees, originated by one individual female chimp
killing and eating baby chimps. This chimp taught the
behaviour to her offspring, so there were several
cannibal chimps in the group for a few years, until
the originator was either driven out or died (I don't
recall exactly). Then her offspring no longer
continued the practice. This was a case of a single
abberant individual being a "murderer".

I also seem to recall hearing about cannibal Walrus,
that developed a taste for meat and would kill and eat
other walruses.

And it is not uncommon in mammals for a male to kill
the current offspring of a female to cause her to come
into estrus and breeding condition (African Lions,

Humans do not have a monopoly on intraspecific murder.

Guy McWethy
Renton, WA
mailto: lguy_mcw at yahoo.com

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