Meerkats Are Nature's Most Murderous Mammals

A new analysis finds that 19.4 percent of all meerkat deaths come at the hands of other meerkats.

A study in the journal Nature on the roots of violence among humans yielded an interesting byproduct: A list of mammals and the rate at which a species kills others of its own kind, which can happen due to anything from animals squabbling among themselves to infanticide when older group members try to take control.

Tops on that list was a shocker: meerkats! Yes, those cute creatures almost universally loved by humans are nature's top murderers of their own, with the study reporting that 19.4 percent of all meerkat deaths come at the hands of, well, other meerkats. Here, with a hat tip to The Independent, we take a look at the other mammals that fill out a grisly top 10.

The red-tailed monkey, a.k.a., Schmidt's guenon, saw 18.2 percent of its deaths from monkey-on-monkey violence.

A species of blue monkey (Stuhlmann's) was found to have murdered 17.7% of its own.

The red-fronted lemur, shown here, along with relatives such as the black lemur and mongoose lemur, had violent tendencies. The red-fronted lemur kills 16.7 percent of its own kind.

New Zealand sea lions? They're 15.3% killers of their kind.

Long-tailed marmots killed 14.5% of their own, according to the study.

Lions murder 13.3% of their own.

The banded mongoose also takes out 13.3% of its own dead, banded buddies.

Grey wolves were next, at 12.8%.

Rounding out the top 10, according to the study, were Chacma baboons, which kill 12.3% of their own species.