Given a choice between eating chocolate alone and rescuing their pals, rats will apparently save their pals and then share the chocolate with them. Trapping a rat in a cage sparks its cagemate into action, as it figures out how to open the cage and liberate its jailed friend. This is an unusual example of rats expressing empathy, a trait thought to be reserved to us higher mammals, the primates.
When a chimpanzee feels down, its friends console it with kisses and hugs
By Matt RansfordPosted 06.19.2008 at 12:49 pm 1 Comment
Chimpanzees and humans share many similarities, which isn't surprising considering they're our closest living relatives. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week has added another to the list: third-party consolation. Researchers in England have discovered that chimps will calm each other down after conflicts and that the kissing and embracing help to alleviate the stress caused by the situation. Previous studies had focused on reconciliation between parties in conflict; this new work focuses on bystanders who come in afterward to offer solace.