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Tag Archives: chimpanzees

Emotions, not just for humans

  SCIENTISTS studying animal behaviour have growing evidence that species ranging from mice to primates are governed by moral codes of conduct in the same way as humans. Until recently, humans were thought to be the only species to experience complex emotions and have a sense of morality. Professor Marc Bekoff, an ecologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, believes that morals are “hard-wired” into the brains of all mammals and provide the “social glue” that allow often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups. Wolves live in tight-knit social groups that are regulated by strict social rules. Wolves also demonstrate fairness. During play, mature wolves will “handicap” themselves by engaging in roll reversal with younger wolves, showing submission and allowing them to bite, provided it is not too hard. Prof Bekoff argues that without a moral code governing their actions, this kind of behaviour would not be possible. If an animal bites too hard, it will initiate a …

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