For bonobos, nice guys finish last

When it comes to bonobos, nice guys finish last. Researchers tested the animals with different social scenarios and in each, the bonobos preferred to make friends with bullies.

Bonobos, along with chimpanzees, are our closest animal relatives, but humans don’t show quite the same level of shrewdness. Even very young babies can tell the difference between nice characters and mean ones, and they typically prefer the characters that cooperate. (That said, it’s not until age six that they develop a sense of justice.) The study, published this week in the journal Current Biology, is surprising because bonobos are usually characterized as our cuddly relatives, unlike more aggressive chimps. That bonobos, too, want to have powerful allies on…

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