HE IS NO RAT, HE IS MY BROTHER

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He’s no rat, he’s my brother
Rodents exhibit empathy by setting trapped friends free
By Laura Sanders all rights there
 
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A rat allowed to roam around eventually figured out how to set free a trapped cagemate. Rats didn’t offer the same courtesy to stuffed animals, suggesting the creatures have empathy for one another.© Science/AAAS

Calling someone a rat should no longer be considered an insult. The often maligned rodents go out of their way to liberate a trapped friend, a gregarious display that’s driven by empathy, researchers conclude in the Dec. 9 Science.

“As humans, we tend sometimes to have this feeling that there’s something special about our morals,” says neuroscientist Christian Keysers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam, who was not involved in the study. “It seems that even rats have this urge to help.”

As…

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