Holy cow, I wrote a book!
There a fascinating article in today's New York Times on
a troop of baboons which went pacifist:
... researchers describe the drastic temperamental and tonal shift
that occurred in a troop of 62 baboons when its most belligerent members
vanished from the scene.
The victims were all dominant adult males that had been
strong and snarly enough to fight with a neighboring baboon troop
over the spoils at a tourist lodge garbage dump,
and were exposed there to meat tainted with bovine tuberculosis,
which soon killed them.
were the 50 percent of males that had been too subordinate
to try dump brawling,
as well as all the females and their young.
With that change in demographics came a cultural swing toward pacifism,
a relaxing of the usually parlous baboon hierarchy,
and a willingness to use affection and mutual grooming rather than threats,
swipes and bites to foster a patriotic spirit.
It has been twenty years since this cataclysmic event
and the amicable atmosphere persists even though none of the
original male survivors is still around.
"We don't yet understand the mechanism of transmittal...
but the jerky new guys are obviously learning,
‘We don't do things like that around here.’"
Of course, baboons will be baboons.
The new-fashioned Forest Troop is no United Nations,
or even the average frat house.
Its citizens remain highly aggressive and argumentative,
and the males still obsess over hierarchy.
"We're talking about baboons here," said Dr. Sapolsky.
Sounds a lot like the real United Nations to me.