The more we study animals, the less special we seem. Baboons can distinguish between written words and gibberish. Monkeys seem to be able to do multiplication. Apes can delay instant gratification longer than a human child can. They plan ahead. They make war and peace. They show empathy.
Empathy isn’t just for humans
It was once thought the control of emotions and the ability to empathise and socialise separated us from our primate cousins. But chimps console, and fight, each other. They also try to soothe an upset companion, grooming and putting their arms around him.
“I see plenty of empathy in my chimpanzees,” de Waal said.