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January 31 2013

Young bonobos offer comforting hugs and sex


Young bonobos console their fellow apes with hugs and sex, say scientists.

Although bonobos are known as the "empathic" apes, researchers previously thought that comforting behaviour was too complex for juveniles to grasp.

But studies at the Lola Ya Bonobo sanctuary in DR Congo, revealed that the youngsters often consoled the losers of social squabbles.

Researchers also found that apes raised by their mothers were more likely to offer comfort than orphans.

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