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Is there any evidence to suggest that some animal species do not murder (a targeted attack leading to death) members of their own species? If so, which are the relevant species?

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closed as too broad by AliceD, kmm, anongoodnurse, James, WYSIWYG Aug 29 '16 at 10:00

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I think it might help to give a little bit more context - is this purely idle curiosity (in which case the answers will be all over the place) or do you have some particular goal ... ? $\endgroup$ – Ben Bolker Aug 26 '16 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ I asked this question from a general interest, as a view on murder (and the lack of it) from an ethological perspective. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Mia Edie Verheyen Aug 26 '16 at 23:53
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Here are a few suggestions:

  • Any coral
  • Any sponge
  • Blue mussels
  • Sheep
  • Dugong
  • brown-headed cowbird
  • Blue whale
  • Common earwigs
  • Plasmodium falciparum (causing malaria)

If by the use of the term "evidence", you are expecting a peer-review paper that discuss the matter, I am afraid you wont find any as it is not really a question of interest to researchers. If you can prove wrong any of the above suggestions I will be happy to remove it (and eventually add some others).

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for your answer. Would you think it would be possible to create some kind of a preliminary classification, as to categorize species into particular reasons which may cause the inability to, or non-occurence of, killing their own? $\endgroup$ – Vincent Mia Edie Verheyen Aug 26 '16 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose you would based the distinction based on whether a behavioural change might change the ability to kill an individual from the same species. You might quickly get into semantic issues esp. with species that have no brain. Also you would quickly run into the issue of guess work as you can't test the ability of a blue whale to kill another one because you cannot play out with blue whale behaviour as you want (and that would be way too expensive anyway). $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Aug 26 '16 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ As your follow-up question is a guesswork type of question, you might have better luck on Worldbuilding(worldbuilding.stackexchange.com) but I am not quite sure what their rules are. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Aug 26 '16 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ Did you mean the plasmodium parasite when you meant malaria? $\endgroup$ – randominstanceOfLivingThing Aug 26 '16 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's what I meant. I edited to Plasmodium falciparum. I was looking for something deadly which does not kill members of its own species. There might be more obvious ("more true") examples. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Aug 26 '16 at 19:04

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