Monday 26 September 2016

'Chimps form friendships just like humans'

Published 15/01/2016 | 09:29

Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee

Chimpanzees share the same instinct as humans to form close friendships based on trust, scientists have found.

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A study of chimps at a Kenyan sanctuary had shown a shared trait of "selectively trusting friends in costly situations".

The findings suggest the characteristics of human friendships have a "long evolutionary history and extend to primate social bonds".

In the report, published in ­Current ­Biology, scientists identified each chimp's closest "friend" by those who ate together and groomed each other and one of their "non-friends". The researchers then played a game with each chimp, first with their "friend" and later with their "non-friend", in which they were given the option of pulling one of two ropes.

One rope allowed the chimp to eat a food that he or she was not keen on, while the other rope gave their partners access to a more tempting food and the option to share it. The interactions between the 15 chimps showed "much greater trust between friends than non-friends".

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