Altruistic chimps act for the benefit of others
Format: Magazine Article
Publication Year: 2007
Source ID: shanti-sources-46941
Abstract: Chimps happily help out unrelated chimps and unfamiliar humans, even if it means exerting themselves for no reward, a new study shows.True altruism – unselfish acts for another’s benefit – was until recently considered uniquely human. Usually when animals cooperate, they either help relatives – thereby increasing chances of passing shared genes to the next generation – or they count on having favours returned in the future. Now Felix Warneken and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have found that 12 out of 18 semi-wild chimpanzees went out of their way to help an unfamiliar human who was struggling to reach a stick.