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Is it true that humans are the only species that muders its own?

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Darth_Ole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:42 PM
Original message
Is it true that humans are the only species that muders its own?
George Carlin has a bit in one of his books where he says that "humans are the only species that systematically tortures and murders its own for personal pleasure and gain."

I have no trouble believing it, b/c it sounds like something very "human" but actually knowing for a fact that this is true would be nice.

Anyone know?
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skooooo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think apes have been known to kill...and..


...many species kill their young for one reason or another.
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MrSlayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. No, rats do it too.
Rats live to eat, fuck and kill one another.
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Madrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. No rat of mine ever tried to kill another for twisted pleasure.
Hell, they never killed each other by accident either. They were more interested in snuggling up and grooming one another.
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-04 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
29. Sez who?
Rats are highly social; except in extremely stressed environments, it's rare for rats to kill each other.

Tucker
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. No
We're just better at it than most species.

(however, most species do only 'play fight', if you are describing territorial disputes).
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. Nope; chimps and dolphins do it, too.
probably others, as well
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Gildor Inglorion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
21. Dolphins? Really? My heart is broken...
I honestly thought they would never do such a thing. :(
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-04 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #21
31. I've only ever heard of dolphins killing other species of cetaceans.
Edited on Tue Apr-13-04 12:40 AM by Ladyhawk
Orcas (the largest species of dolphin) will prey on all the others. Bottlenose dolphins will kill harbor porpoises. I've never heard of like species attacking one another, though. I suppose it's possible. I've seen huge shoals of thousands of dolphins with four different species and they seemed to be getting along just fine, as far as I could tell.

Personally, I love dolphins, even if the actions of transient orcas sometimes make me cringe. The game of "toss the baby fur seal" they play off the coast of Patagonia is a good example. :( I saw one take a sea lion in Monterey Bay, but that predation was very quick.

On edit: I did some quick research and it looks like dolphins have killed and even gang-raped their own species. I'm not surprised. They're just like any other animal.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. What about Black Widows?
Wham bam I'm hungry, Sam...

Or hamsters? They eat their babies!
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
6. All felines engage in that behavior
Male farm cats routinely kill kittens that are not sired by them in order to promote their genetic legacy.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Lions, too...
a male will chase off the male of pride if he finds him weaker, and will kill the cubs to send the females into estrus so he can sire his own.

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Frangible Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
7. Spiders do
After mating sometimes, and also over territory. You generally can't put two spiders together in an enclosed space.

But, tortures each other? I've never heard of torture in animals, other than a cat playing with its prey.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
8. Naaa..just the only ones so chicken that they need a gun
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Another Bill C. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. I think "personal pleasure"
must be the key words because several species will kill the young of competing males and females. For example, male lions will kill the young of any females it brings into its own pride.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
11. I'm sure humans are the only species
that kills as punishment. Plus we're the only species that knows exactly what death means. Other species kill their own, but I believe it's more for survival and self defense.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
12. carlin's emphasis was on 'for personal pleasure and gain'
other species commit infanticide, euthanasia, cannibalism, and can kill each other in fights for mates, and so on.

as far as i know, only humans kill for pleasure, only humans kill out of a nebulous hatred (without specifically being threatened), and only humans kill in such an organized, mass fashion is in war.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
13. Most social animals...
like apes, canines, etc., will have battles between males for mating rights. Often, they will go to "war" with other colonies, and will kill interlopers they don't recognize. Don't even think of getting anywhere near a moose, buffalo, antelope, or other such critter during the rut. The males ritually fight, and occasionally it's to the death. And they will kill damn near anything else coming too close and getting in their way.

Ant colonies regularly go to war with each other. I have seen 12 pound bluefish chasing and eating 4 pound bluefish who were too busy themselves concentrating on chasing and eating one pound menhaden.

In none of these cases, however, does pleasure seem to be a factor.







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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-04 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #13
28. Pleasure is probably a factor
Ater all, the lion isn't thinking, "Hm, if I eat these kittens I can knock up their mom and thereby pass on more genes." More likely, he sniffs the kitten, feels something we'd interperet as "anger," and eats them--not out of hunger, but for his emotional motivation.

Same with chimps. Given the similarities between human and chimp brains, I'd wager what they feel during war or during an act of chimp-chimp violence is about the same as what a human feels in the same situation.

Humans don't seem to be the "only species that--" anything; just the one who carries so much to such extremes. And, of course, the only one whose actions we notice, most of the time.

Tucker




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sir_captain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
14. Sort of
lots of animals do

I think it'd be hard to prove why a lot of them do it, you know?
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
15. Chimpanzees commit murder
Edited on Mon Apr-12-04 07:59 PM by supernova
rarely, it seems. But it does happen. Jane Goodall documented it. I don't know how someone as smart as George Carlin missed that.

edit: Also a male lion will kill the kittens of another mail lion to kill the lineage of his rival.
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Beaker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. chimps also hunt other monkeys
some of the most violent footage i ever saw on tv was a documentary on chimpanzees of Thailand- in one scene, the chimps hunted another monkey(a colobus, i think), and when they caught it- it was brought down to the ground, and all the chimps gathered around and started ripping it apart, and eating the monkey alive, while it shrieked in horror and pain- it was very disturbing.
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LagaLover Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-04 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #23
36. You do know that chimps
aren't monkey's, right? And the only chimps in Thailand are in zoos and such.
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asjr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
16. I believe Tasmanian Devils do it, but they do it because they are
so damn mean.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
17. These human beings kill based on greed.
n/t
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Mr.Green93 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
18. Bass
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kcwayne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
19. I have seen a pyrannah torture a goldfish
it ate the fins and tail and left the goldfish unable to swim. Sort of like putting it in live storage. It later came back and ate the goldfish when it was hungry.

The pyrannah would have done the same to another pyrannah, but the owner kept the pyrannahs separated because it got too expensive to keep buying more pyrannah.

A preying mantis will eat its mate, as do other species of spiders.
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Beaker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. siamese fighting fish
fight to the death.
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
20. sort of
Obviously only humans have human motivations for and interpretations of killing.

I'll point to the word "systematically." What does that mean for people, as opposed to ants or porpoises? I'd think it entails a combination of the social organization of aggression and its symbolic representations.

Looking within our own order, primate studies of aggression are not unanimous in their conclusions.

I think you'd be interested in these two approaches:

http://rint.rechten.rug.nl/rth/dennen/dennen6.htm

And http://songweaver.com/info/bonobos.html --actually, there's a lot more to De Waal than that essay, so do follow the links if your curious. Or just google bonobo aggression and sex. I think it's an unanswered question how to account for some of these observed differences. De Waal's ideas are certainly worth looking at.

Here's a database you can use, Primate Lit. That will not give you full text, just citations which you can take to a research library.

Here's a curious site, Chimpanzee Cultures. You can look up behaviours there. Nothing recorded in the way of bloody murder, I'm afraid, but if you want to know what Chimps really do with their days (or Chimp-watchers for that matter), it's kind of cool.






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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
25. Dogs (Pit Bulls), chickens
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LastKnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-04 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #25
32. if your refering to dog/cock fighting...
they only do these things when trained by other humans.

-LK
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-04 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. No way
Those things really want to fight. In a normal dog fight one will run away when losing. But sometimes they will fight to the death if equally matched. The instinct is really that strong in some dogs.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
26. Lots of fish will do it
I had a male Firemouth cichlid. I thought he needed a mate, so I bought a female Firemouth and put her in with him. The next morning, he had managed to kill and eat the female.

Most cichlids will do this, as will large loricariid catfish. Piranha occasionally eat other piranha.

And let's talk cats. Tomcats will kill kittens. Exceptions are made for toms living in catteries, where the tom is surrounded by kittens on a regular basis. My Kenny is the best mama cat you've ever seen.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-12-04 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
27. Dolphins practice both gang rape and murder...
I wonder if there is some correlation between higher intelligence and willful sadism?
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-04 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
30. No. There are many, many species that kill their own kind...
...everything from arachnids to reptiles to birds to mammals. I don't know how that silly idea got started. (Still, I give animals a pass. We're supposedly sentient and should know better.)
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LastKnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-04 12:33 AM
Response to Original message
33. as far as 'systematically tourtures and murders for own personal pleasure
and gain' i seriously doubt there is anything on earth other than humans that do this. simply because i doubt they have anything to gain, so that rules out the personal gain, and i dont know why anything would take pleasure in it when it couldnt comprehend that it was causing pain to the other animal. i donno, all speculation.

-LK
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Commendatori Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-04 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
35. Sharks kill their own
Edited on Tue Apr-13-04 09:46 AM by BlueOysterDemocrat
as soon as one drop of blood is spilled, accidentally or otherwise.
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-04 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
37. No, Sharks, wolves, bugs, bears - in fact everything
Kills itself
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