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Chimpanzee friends fight together to battle rivals

Strong social bonds increases the willingness to join others in battle

Humans cooperate with each other in large groups to defend territories or wage war. But what underlies the evolution of this kind of cooperation? Researchers at the Max PIanck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Harvard University show that there may be a link between social bonds and participation in large-scale cooperation: Chimpanzees join their close bond partners when fighting rivals. In humans, too, social bonds may have been essential to the evolution of cooperative abilities.

© Liran Samuni, Taï Chimpanzee Project