Do all animals have empathy? | Discover Wildlife

But animals that are not so conspicuously brainy, from chickens to ants, show distinct physiological responses when members of their own species are in distress.

This might be hard to ascribe to anything other than hard-wired, instinctive behaviour. If that is indeed the case, then it could be that what we describe as empathy, even in humans, is simply the kind of behaviour that one expects natural selection to favour in social animals.