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Friday, June 13, 2014

Chimpanzees Spontaneously Exhibits Cooperative Behavior In Their community

Wondering... If chimpanzees can why can't humans?

Researchers have spent years studying the unique behavior in chimpanzee,and have come up with a conclusion that chimpanzees have tendencies to cooperate with others within their community. This was for the first time ever, that this group of researchers have discovered that chimpanzees that have been captivated in a socially complex set up have shown spontaneous cooperation with their partners of their own choices, and that too without any training and socialization. However, the researchers, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, had created no constraints for the chimpanzees to choose their own partner(s).

The team leader Malini Suchak, PhD said, "Cooperation among primates has attracted considerable research because of the evolutionary implications that such research has for human behavior and the ubiquity of cooperation among wild primates". She also said: "Cooperation is often regarded as less puzzling than altruistic behavior, but only in an evolutionary sense. In the moment, cooperation often consists of a series of potentially complex decisions involving a choice of partners. When multiple partners are available, an individual must consider with whom to cooperate, if that individual has been a good partner previously, how much to invest in the partner, what to expect in return and if the cooperation will yield more benefits than solitary effort".

During the study, Suchak's team discovered that the chimpanzees cooperated around 3565 time over the course of 94 on-hour study sessions, where chimpanzees were critically observed while they mingle with each other, and especially with their chosen partners. Most interestingly, according to the researchers, the frequency, efficiency and the rate of success of cooperation were found to have been enhanced eventually over time. Alongside the cooperation tendencies, the team also discovered that that frequency of pulling incedences in the absence of a partner had gradually diminished. This concluded that the chimpanzees had eventually understood that they a partner is always needed for success.

Suchak's study was initiated with 11 members of a chimpanzee social group, her team mates Frans de Waal, PhD, Matt Campbell, PhD, and Tim Eppley and the chimpanzees, being well looked after and captivated in a huge alfresco enclosure, creating a socially complex environment for those animals that could move around without any barrier. The specialty of the outcome of this study is that it typically explored various levels of female cooperation, all of which, according to the researchers, will aid by offering better insight on the evolution of cooperative behavior.

As a conclusion Sichak stated that since the previous research that she and her team had carried out could only elicit cooperation in a restricted setting, they thought that "more complex and cooperative behavior might have uniquely evolved in humans". Suchak concluded: "This study demonstrates chimpanzees are more cooperative than we realized, and we've yet to fully explore the extent of the similarities between chimpanzee and human behavior in this regard".
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