Cooperation across social borders in bonobos.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Samuni, Liran; Surbeck, Martin
Year of Publication: 2023
Journal: Science
Volume: 382
Issue: 6672
Pagination: 805-809
Date Published: 2023 Nov 17
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1095-9203
Keywords: Animals, Cooperative Behavior, Grooming, Group Processes, Humans, Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Social Norms

Cooperation beyond familial and group boundaries is core to the functioning of human societies, yet its evolution remains unclear. To address this, we examined grooming, coalition, and food-sharing patterns in bonobos (), one of our closest living relatives whose rare out-group tolerance facilitates interaction opportunities between groups. We show that, as in humans, positive assortment supports bonobo cooperation across borders. Bonobo cooperative attitudes toward in-group members informed their cooperative relationships with out-groups, in particular, forming connections with out-group individuals who also exhibited high cooperation tendencies. Our findings show that cooperation between unrelated individuals across groups without immediate payoff is not exclusive to humans and suggest that such cooperation can emerge in the absence of social norms or strong cultural dispositions.

DOI: 10.1126/science.adg0844
Alternate Journal: Science