Unfair Trade: Monkeys demand equitable exchanges

10:38am, September 17, 2003

For the first time, researchers say, they have shown that a species other than Homo sapiens has a sense of fairness.

Female brown capuchin monkeys tend to turn uncooperative, and sometimes even throw things, if they see a neighbor receiving a lovely grape in exchange for the same token that gets them only a cucumber, according to Sarah Brosnan of Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta. The clearest protests come from monkeys that see a neighbor getting that grape for free, she and her Yerkes colleague Frans de Waal report in the Sept. 18 Nature.

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