London, Jan 2: When you laugh, if not the whole world apes will certainly laugh with you as according to a recent research laughter has been developed by these close biological cousins of ours.
According to scientists at the University of Portsmouth the 'orangutans', species of great apes known for their intelligence, long arms and reddish-brown hair, have a sense of empathy and mimicry which is an essential part of laughter. Observing the way facial expressions were picked up and copied by orangutans, Dr Marina Davila Ross found when one of the orangutans displayed an open, gaping mouth, its playmate often displayed the same expression within half a second time.
Besides, the empathy of positive emotions or contagious laughter evolved in animals before humans, the Daily Telegraph reported today.
''What is clear now is the building blocks of positive emotional contagion and empathy that refer to rapid involuntary facial mimicry in humans evolved prior to humankind'', she added.