Over the years, we at Giz have explored countless aspects of animal behavior and psychology.
And so on. Today, we extend this venerable tradition with a new question, one that will surely delight anyone who has ever dreamed of a monkey screaming madly as it plots the beheading of the monkey that killed its father – that is, do animals take revenge?
Vladimir Dinets Adjunct Lecturer, Zoology, Kean University, whose research focuses on animal behavior Yes, animals retaliate.
Macaques do so, although not directly: if they cannot attack the offender because he is too strong, they will hurt someone weaker than that, sometimes a relative of the attacker.
Also, there are many documented cases of injured animals chasing or ambushing their hunters in situations where it would make more sense for the animals to run or hide.
In humans, revenge is often an irrational expression of our natural desire for justice, which is also seen in many other primates and has evolved to facilitate social interaction.
Some of the animals known for retaliatory attacks on hunters are very sedentary (elephants, for example), but others are not (bears, tigers, etc.), so I don’t have a good explanation for their behavior. “Macaques do it, too. , although not directly: if they cannot attack the offender because he is stronger, they can harm someone weaker than that, sometimes a relative of the attacker.” Money Suchak
Associate Professor, Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation, Canisius College I have no doubt that many animals are involved in reciprocity, often thinking “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” Retaliation can extend to negative actions, for example, if someone is a bad employee, you can refuse to work with them in the future.
Repetition of wrongdoing is not exactly the same as revenge, which, to me has an element of moral justice.
Although it seems clear that some species have their own moral principles and systems (for example, capuchins react badly to inappropriate situations), the idea of using revenge on other species worries me because it assumes that their moral systems are the same as ours – they look. the same things we do as right or wrong.
I often hear people say things like, “I went on vacation and my cat vengefully pees on my bed,” which means the cat knew it was wrong to pee on the bed, but did it to punish them for leaving.
If the act was viewed as revenge, the person might punish or resent their cat and would probably not change things the next time they go on vacation.
If it’s considered stressful, they can take steps to reduce stress the next time they travel – a win/win for both the human and the cat.
I think it can be harmful to the way we treat other animals if they think their actions are revenge, when maybe they see the situation differently. it has to do with self-defense.
Although it seems clear that some species have their own moral principles and systems (for example, capuchins react badly to inappropriate situations), the idea of using revenge on other species worries me because it assumes that their moral systems are the same as ours – they look. the same things we do as right or wrong.” Peter Judge Professor of Animal Behavior and Psychology and Director of the Animal Behavior Program at Bucknell University I research non-human primates, specifically pigtail macaques.
They live in large social groups, and they have matrilines – the old matriarch will have her children, and her children will have her children.
When one of these families fights with another family, almost all family members will join and help.
It can be very bad at times.
On a smaller scale, if someone from family A attacks someone from family B, that member of family B is likely to follow the person from family A – chase them, bite them, hit them.
When I read this, sometimes it happened later.
Animal A would hit animal B, then animal B would go after animal A’s lamb.
This behavior has been found in other macaque species as well – one author studied this in Japanese macaques. , all family members will step in and help.” Stephanie Poindexter
Assistant Professor, Anthropology, SUNY Buffalo, whose research focuses on primate behavioral ecology, among other things I study primates, and my answer would be: yes, more or less.
Obviously we cannot know their intention, because we cannot ask them what they were planning to do or why they did it.
But in studies of foxes in captivity, in community groups in zoos, we have seen that when a person is attacked in some way, the probability that they will attack someone related to their attacker is high.
(This phenomenon has been observed in crushed wolves.) For the most part, these acts of “revenge” occur shortly after an attack — I have not seen anything where a monkey spends a long time plotting revenge on its enemies. .
The nature of life in these ranks or groups, where there is one man in control, is fear.
There will be consequences if you do not behave as expected.
There are large monkey groups with one male and many females.
In those groups, you can see aggressive behavior towards women who are lost during a conflict or a big fight with another group, those women can be punished, because they did not maintain the unity of the group – they did not walk in the right way, or behave. otherwise a superior man does not like it.
The goal, here, is to maintain the team and conserve energy. “Obviously we don’t know their intentions, because we can’t ask them what they were planning to do or why they did it.
But in studies of foxes in captivity, in community groups in zoos, we’ve seen that when an individual is attacked in some way, the likelihood that they will attack someone related to their attacker is high.” Got a burning question for Giz Ask?