Chimps Who Share Are Chimps Who Care

BERLIN (January 15, 2014) Scientists from Germany, Switzerland and the United States have found that chimpanzees that share their food have higher levels of the so-called love hormone oxytocin than those who don't.

Oxytocin is a hormone previously linked to bonding between mothers and their breastfeeding babies, both in primates and humans.

Researchers who studied dozens of wild chimpanzees in Uganda found that the chimps had higher levels of the hormone after sharing food than after mutual grooming, which is another important bonding behavior in primates.

Roman Wittig of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said the effects were observed in both the givers and the receivers of food.

The study was published Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


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