Even Some Rodents Display Empathy

Chimpanzees console each other by touching, hugging, and kissing. To researchers, this behaviour indicates empathy. Monkeys, however, show a limited display of empathy, not to the degree great apes do.

When even these intelligent creatures appear insensitive, it comes as a surprise when scientists recently declared that prairie voles comfort their friends and mates.

The prairie vole is a brown mouse-like creature, smaller than a palm squirrel. It’s among the few animals that are monogamous for life. What made scientists from Emory University, Georgia, U.S., look for empathy in these little rodents?