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Chimpanzee gang kills their alpha male

4 underlings band together for rare assassination of troupe leader

(New Scientist) Et tu, chimp? The leader of a wild chimpanzee troupe was recently attacked by four of his underlings, who banded together to beat him to death. It’s unusual for chimps to kill their alpha male – and this event gives rare insight into group structure in our closest relatives.

From 2007, Pimu was the alpha male of a chimp group living near Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. His rule came to a violent end in October 2011 – and the moment was captured on video. Stefano Kaburu of the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK, and colleagues investigated the incident and conducted an autopsy on Pimu’s body.

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