Rats, like humans, will show kindness to strangers, but only if the rats in distress are of a familiar type, a new study has found.
Neurobiologists from the University of Chicago have discovered that rats display empathy-like behavior toward other rats, but the basis of that empathy is environmental, rather than genetic.
As part of what Bartal calls the “Mowgli experiment” — a reference to the boy raised by wolves in Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” — researchers plucked albino pups from their mothers on the day they were born and transferred them to a group of black-patched rats. As adults, the albinos refused to help other albinos but readily freed black-patched rats.
Read the full, original story: Rodent empathy is environmental and not genetic, study shows