Scientists have discovered that chimpanzees also have policemen and women who must maintain order.
Researchers have now proved for the first time that completely impartial chimpanzees interfere with a single goal: to ensure that the conflict ends. They do not do this out of self-interest. No: in the first instance they have the interest of the group in mind.
The scientists base their conclusions on observations in a zoo. "We were lucky to be able to study a group of chimpanzees who were confronted with new females," says researcher Claudia Rudolf von Rohr. This caused unrest: the males fought with each other. "The ranking of the men was redefined and the stability of the group was compromised. That also happens in the wild. "
And that is the moment when the police intervene. Especially when more than two chimpanzees are involved in a conflict, the "policemen" are strongly inclined to take action. That also makes sense: then the group is most at risk. And it is very important for chimpanzees that their group does not become divided.
Not all chimpanzees can become policemen, according to research in the magazine PLoS ONE appeared. They are mainly chimpanzees who hold a high position within the group or at least enjoy a lot of respect. The chimpanzees are feminist: ladies can also join the police force.
The research is very interesting. Not only for people who want to know more about chimpanzees. But also for researchers who are involved in human development. We, too, consider the well-being of the community important. And we humans also have a police force that must guarantee that well-being. The research indicates that the basis for these measures is very old.