Chimps lend a hand

Finding suggests nonhuman primates have theory of mind

By Bruce Bower, 15:52 PM February 6, 2012

A chimpanzee in need gets help indeed, on two conditions. Another chimp must both see his or her predicament and receive a blatant help request from the needy animal, a new study finds.

Observations in the wild and in previous experiments indicate that chimps seldom help others (SN: 8/27/11, p. 10), but that’s not because the chimps don’t understand their peers’ motivations, as some researchers suspect, says primatologist Shinya Yamamoto of Kyoto University in Japan.

In a series of lab te...

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