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Helping Behavior And Regard For Others In Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus Apella)

June 08, 2017

There has been much scientific debate in recent years about whether our closest evolutionary relatives, the non-human primates demonstrate altruistic behavior, willingly taking costs to themselves to deliver benefits to others.

Recent work suggests that chimpanzees will help human experimenters by handing them out of reach objects. Our study found that capuchin monkeys, a species more distantly related to humans, are less helpful, prioritizing their own costs and benefits over those of the individual they have the opportunity to help.

This finding suggests important evolutionary changes in the nature of primate altruism, with a possible split between monkeys and apes.

Royal Society journal Biology Letters

Biology Letters publishes short, innovative and cutting-edge research articles and opinion pieces accessible to scientists from across the biological sciences. The journal is characterised by stringent peer-review, rapid publication and broad dissemination of succinct high-quality research communications.