To quote our friend Jeremy Beckham,
“New groundbreaking experiment simultaneously demonstrates that rats have the capacity for empathy and humans do not.” Well said.
by Nell Greenfieldboyce
Calling someone a “rat” is no compliment, but a new study shows that rats actually are empathetic and will altruistically lend a helping paw to a cage mate who is stuck in a trap.
Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage mate; they will do so even when there’s a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, the study reveals. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage mate and share the chocolate.
“To me that’s absolutely stunning,” says neurobiologist Peggy Mason of the University of Chicago. “The fact that the rat does that is really amazing.”
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