Like humans, chimps too close a deal

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London, Aug 21 (ANI): Lower-ranking chimpanzees know how to bargain with their superiors to achieve a fairer split of food, concludes a new study.

The study, published in Evolution and Human Behavior, suggests that an aptitude for deal-making may have existed millions of years before phrases like "you've got a deal."

"It looks like you can have a quite successful way of dealing with conflicting interests without any language or any very sophisticated communication," says Alicia Melis, a psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who led the study.

To reach the conclusion, Melis and her colleagues Michael Tomasello at the Max Planck Institute and Brian Hare at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, presented six pairs of semi-captive chimpanzees with a task that demanded cooperation and compromise, reports New Scientist.

"It seems that the basic capacities for negotiating over conflicting interests probably arose before we split from our last common ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos," Melis and her colleagues write.

"We are getting closer and closer to a full understanding of the complexities of primate cooperation," comments Frans de Waal, a primatologist at Emory University and Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

"Chimpanzees are masters at figuring out optimal cooperative strategies, including how to manipulate others to do their bidding," he says. (ANI)

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