Is climate change increasing food competition between gorillas and chimpanzees?
On February 6 and December 11, 2019, researchers in Gabon's Loango National Park witnessed, for the first time, a coalitionary killing of gorillas by chimpanzees. This behavior is unprecedented in the history of primatology, forcing scientists to study what is happening to cause it. Lara Southern (Osnabrück University in Germany) witnessed both events. Lara's paper titled "Lethal coalitionary attacks of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) on gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in the wild" explores these incidents based on the two most common explanations for chimp attacks: predation for food and coalitionary killings to eliminate rivals. Do the attacks on the gorillas fit into one or both of these scientific frameworks? Or, can we solve this mystery by studying phenological data related to climate change? Listen until the end because the answer will surprise you!
Click here to read more about episode 1 of The Gorilla Project Podcast.
Click here to read Lara Southern's paper!
Executive Producer: Jonathan Popp
with a special introduction by: Sonia Domínguez Alba
Click here to watch The Gorilla Project's interactive film made in Gabon!