Prairie Voles Show Empathy Just Like Humans

Until now, consolation has only been observed in relatively large brained animals—apes, elephants, dogs, and some large birds.

This study shows for the first time, however, that animals as small as rodents are capable of empathetic behaviors that extend beyond just ensuring their offspring survive, to actually helping others around them that are in need.

“Consolation might be present in many more animal species than was previously thought,” says James Burkett, a neuroscientist at Emory University and lead author of the study…

“This does not mean animals experience empathy in the same way we do, but the basic foundation for empathy and consolation may be present in many more species than once thought.”


By Grennan Milliken P