Apart from humans, most animals do not share with strangers. Jingzhi Tan and Brian Hare, working at Duke University, confirmed today in an article* published in PLoS One, however, that bonobos, highly social primates whose genomes are 98.7% similar to ours, also share with strangers. They further showed that bonobos preferentially share food with strangers over members of their own groups, even when sharing food leads to some loss of food or requires energy use on the part of the sharer. This preference for sharing with strangers is absent in humans, who share equally with strangers and friends, and seems to be motivated by the bonobos’ desire for novel social interaction.
*Click here to read the article and to watch videos of the bonobos in action!