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Rodents Are Very Caring to Their Friends

  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Arrow Rodents Are Very Caring to Their Friends

    Rodents show empathy to their friends and mates, just like birds. More here.

    If a rat is given the choice of eating a chocolate treat or freeing a trapped cage mate, which do you think he’ll choose? In a study published in 2011, researchers designed an experiment to answer this question and reveal if rats display so-called “pro-social behavior” that may be driven by empathic concern for another.



    To test this, they placed a free rat in an arena with a cage mate trapped in a restrainer. The free rat learned how to intentionally and quickly open the restrainer to set the cage mate free. They did not, by the way, open empty restrainers or those containing objects.

    To put the rats further to the test, the researchers then gave them the choice of freeing a cage mate or opening a restrainer containing chocolate. Then, the rats opened both restrainers and typically shared the chocolate.

    “Thus, rats behave pro-socially in response to a conspecific’s distress, providing strong evidence for biological roots of empathically motivated helping behavior,” the researchers noted.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2016
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    That is amazing! Altough it's sad that those rats were tested on like that.

  3. #3
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    In some alternate universe, giant rat scientists are performing the same experiment using miniature people.

  4. #4
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    This is interesting research, didn't know rats could such caring animals.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha1 View Post
    Rodents show empathy to their friends and mates, just like birds. More here.
    I tested this to see if my rats would try to get each other out. One was very loyal. The other did not care at all. XD They just walked off.

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