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  1. #1
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    When meerkats kill: mammal-on-mammal murder & the human species

    NPR:

    What Meerkat Murder Tells Us About Human Violence

    A new study of violent behavior in more than 1,000 mammal species found the meerkat is the mammal most likely to be murdered by one of its own kind.

    The study, led by José María Gómez of the University of Grenada in Spain and published Wednesday in the journal Nature, analyzed more than 4 million deaths among 1,024 mammal species and compared them with findings in 600 studies of violence among humans from ancient times until today.

    The findings tell us two things:

    1. Some amount of violence between humans is attributable to our place on the evolutionary tree.

    2. Meerkats are surprisingly murderous.
    ---
    The Concourse/Deadspin:

    These Mammals Are Just Straight-Up Murdering Each Other All The Time

    ---
    Such is the paradox: It appears nature has trouble creating cooperative social systems that aren’t rife with murder. The obvious, controversial question, one that’s long troubled philosophers and evolutionary psychologists, is whether the existence of murder in humans is a byproduct of evolution or a benefit.

    Either way, we’ve been a lot worse.
    more at the links, with The Mammals Most Likely to Kill Their Own Kind chart

  2. #2
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    Atlantic:

    Humans: Unusually Murderous Mammals, Typically Murderous Primates
    A new study looks at rates of lethal violence across a thousand species
    to better understand the evolutionary origins of humanity’s own inhumanity.

    Which mammal is most likely to be murdered by its own kind? It’s certainly not humans—not even close. Nor is it a top predator like the grey wolf or lion, although those at least are #11 and #9 in the league table of murdery mammals. No, according to a study led by José María Gómez from the University of Granada, the top spot goes to… the meerkat. These endearing black-masked creatures might be famous for their cooperative ways, but they kill each other at a rate that makes man’s inhumanity to man look meek. Almost one in five meerkats, mostly youngsters, lose their lives at the paws and jaws of their peers.
    ---
    much more at the linl

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