Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Chimpanzees may have a similar sense of right and wrong to humans, new study finds

The apes were suggested to have concepts of morality that echoed those in humans

Sunday 28 June 2015

Our closest evolutionary relatives, chimpanzees, may have a similar concept of right and wrong to humans a study has found.

The apes were suggested to have concepts of morality that echoed those in humans after two groups of primates paid more attention to barbaric video clips of an infant chimp being killed by its own kind than those showing other acts of violence. 

By singling out this attack over the others it suggests that the animals viewed it as being beyond the boundaries of normal behaviour.

Scientists think that these new findings could help clarify how human morality and social norms have evolved.

The study, which involved 17 chimps from two Swiss zoos in Gossau and Basel, monitored the chimps as they watched film clips of other chimpanzees engaged in activities that ranged from walking and cracking nuts to displaying violent and aggressive behaviour.

The animals watched the films showing chimpanzees killing one of their own infants four times longer than any of the other movies, including those showing a colobus monkey being hunted and killed by chimps as well as those showing adult chimpanzees displaying aggressive behaviour towards each other.

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