Chimps catch people’s yawns in sign of flexible empathy | Science News

Chimpanzees may show humanlike empathy, as evidenced by their contagious yawning.

Chimpanzees possess a flexible, humanlike sensitivity to the mental states of others, even strangers from another species, researchers suggest March 11 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Empathy’s roots go back at least to the common ancestor of humans and chimps, they say.


Having socially connected with

facility workers, chimps reacted empathically

to human strangers who yawned,

the researchers propose.