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And More Monkey News

(yes, yes, i know. apes.)

In a study of young bonobos at an African sanctuary, scientists found that the socially and emotionally "competent" among the group were more likely to cuddle other apes to comfort them when they were in distress.

In turn those bonobos were more likely to recover quickly from an upsetting experience, such as a fight. This mirrors the way that children have been found to react, suggesting the primates manage their emotions in much the same way.

The researchers believe that, as in humans, the bond between mother and offspring may play a crucial role in developing the social competence in our close primate relatives.


I find it interesting that they put "competent" in quotes. Here's a little contrast in competence:

On my first day of pre-school, i cried like a little bitch cause as far as i was concerned, i had just been dumped in a room full of strangers. I refused to speak, and i refused to take my jacket off no matter how much the aides cajoled. One other pre-schooler came up and comforted me and tried to get me to see it wasn't so bad there. Prolly by the second week or so, i started to believe her.

Contrast this to my reaction to seeing a person in distress (especially someone i am friends with) as both a child and an adult: Abject horror. Then an awkward pat on the shoulder or a hug if they're really upset cause movies and tv have taught me that is the appropriate action when someone is crying. Inside i'm secretly hoping they'll hurry up and get over it or someone else will come along so i can get the hell out of there. I'm prolly also hoping they don't get any shnoz on me.


By min | October 15, 2013, 8:44 AM | Science