Bonobos Catch Yawns from Friends: may have its roots in empathy,

Contagious yawning in the monkeys may have its roots in empathy, which can help coordinate the emotions of a group..


For bonobos, yawning is contagious, but only between friends.

Yawns spread more easily between family and close friends, and from high-status monkeys to those lower on the totem pole, according to a study published online today (Nov. 14) in the journal PLoS ONE. This pattern of social yawning mimics one found in humans and suggests infectious yawning is a byproduct of empathy, which coordinates emotions in a group.


by Tia Ghose,