When they need something, the chimpanzees help each other even if they are not relatives. These animals, in fact, manage to weave good relationships even with specimens that do not belong to their family. At least according to a new study conducted by the University of Michigan on a group of monkeys in the Kibale National Park (Uganda). Once all the parental ties between the specimens (with DNA analysis) were recorded, the scientists observed the various forms of collaboration that took place in the group and identified 753 close alliances to fight the enemies and 421 offers for food sharing. . And strange for researchers, most of these coalitions were not relatives (usually brothers born of the same mother help each other a lot). And all the chimpanzees in the period in which they were observed collaborated with someone with whom they had no blood bond.

For Kevin Langergraber, who led the research, this behavior is far from disinterested. Just like humans, in fact, chimpanzees often do a favor to their neighbors expecting it to be returned to them at the time of need.

In the photo: three male chimpanzees from Kibale Park engaged in a grooming session. © John Mitani