Commentary Type

Open Commentary


David M. Peña-Guzmán, Can nonhuman animals commit suicide?


Claims are often made about behaviors being unique to humans; the evidence usually shows they are not. Sign language studies on chimpanzees may provide a useful model for comparative studies of suicide. A productive approach to comparative studies is to focus on observable behaviors rather than getting lost in the pitfalls of vague definitions and changing measures.

Author Biography

Mary Lee Jensvold, Senior Lecturer, Primate Behavior Program, Central Washington University, and Associate Director, Fauna Foundation, specializes in ethological studies of apes, animal intelligence, communication, language, culture, and advocacy in captive care.