Somehow, Punkeys have managed to generate a lot of pro-ape PR from the science community. These evil simians are manipulating the system to gain our trust. And as soon as they do…WATCH OUT!

From The Telegraph:

Animals can be altruistic, according to a study that has found monkeys enjoy giving.

The researchers discovered that capuchin monkeys – like humans – find generosity a satisfying experience. They offered the monkeys a choice of selfishly rewarding themselves with food, or giving some to another capuchin as well.

When paired with a monkey they knew, the capuchins were more likely to choose the “pro-social” sharing option, but were more selfish when paired with a stranger.

The researchers believe the pleasure of seeing a fellow creature happy is behind the drive for sharing, which is common to primate species.

Frans de Waal of the Yerkes National Primate Research Centre at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, said: “The fact the capuchins predominantly selected the pro-social option must mean seeing another monkey receive food is satisfying or rewarding for them.

“We believe pro-social behavior is empathy-based. Empathy increases in both humans and animals with social closeness, and in our study, closer partners made more pro-social choices. They seem to care for the welfare of those they know.”

It follows a recent study that showed increased activity in reward centers of the brain after humans gave to charity.

Dr de Waal, director of the Living Links Centre at the Yerkes Research Centre, and Kristi Leimgruber, research specialist, led a team of researchers who exchanged tokens for food with eight adult female capuchin monkeys.

Each capuchin was paired with a relative, an unrelated familiar female from her own social group or a stranger – a female from a different group.

The capuchins were then given the choice of two tokens, the selfish option, rewarding the capuchin alone with an apple slice, or the pro-social option, which rewarded both with an apple slice.

When paired with a relative or with a familiar individual, the monkeys predominantly selected the sharing option, but were more selfish when paired with a stranger.

Dr de Waal and his team will next try to determine whether giving is self-rewarding to the monkeys because they can eat together or if the monkeys simply like to see the other monkey enjoying food.

The study is available online in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

You wait…one day they’re giving you apples, the next Ebola! They’ve got a plan, we’re sure.

They always have a plan.

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