Articles, Blog

Moral behavior in animals | Frans de Waal

September 12, 2019


I was born in Den Bosch, where the painter Hieronymus Bosch
named himself after. And I’ve always been very fond
of this painter who lived and worked in the 15th century. And what is interesting about him
in relation to morality is that he lived at a time
where religion’s influence was waning, and he was sort of wondering, I think, what would happen with society
if there was no religion or if there was less religion. And so he painted this famous painting,
“The Garden of Earthly Delights,” which some have interpreted
as being humanity before the Fall, or being humanity without any Fall at all. And so it makes you wonder, what would happen if we hadn’t tasted
the fruit of knowledge, so to speak, and what kind of morality would we have. Much later, as a student,
I went to a very different garden, a zoological garden in Arnhem
where we keep chimpanzees. This is me at an early age
with a baby chimpanzee. (Laughter) And I discovered there that the chimpanzees are very power-hungry
and wrote a book about it. And at that time the focus
in a lot of animal research was on aggression and competition. I painted a whole picture
of the animal kingdom and humanity included, was that deep down
we are competitors, we are aggressive, we are all out
for our own profit, basically. This is the launch of my book. I’m not sure how well
the chimpanzees read it, but they surely seemed
interested in the book. (Laughter) Now in the process of doing all this work on power and dominance
and aggression and so on, I discovered that chimpanzees
reconcile after fights. And so what you see here
is two males who have had a fight. They ended up in a tree, and one of them
holds out a hand to the other. And about a second
after I took the picture, they came together in the fork of the tree and kissed and embraced each other. And this is very interesting because at the time, everything
was about competition and aggression, so it wouldn’t make any sense. The only thing that matters
is that you win or you lose. But why reconcile after a fight?
That doesn’t make any sense. This is the way bonobos do it.
Bonobos do everything with sex. And so they also reconcile with sex. But the principle is exactly the same. The principle is that you have
a valuable relationship that is damaged by conflict,
so you need to do something about it. So my whole picture of the animal kingdom,
and including humans also, started to change at that time. So we have this image in political
science, economics, the humanities, the philosophy for that matter,
that man is a wolf to man. And so deep down,
our nature is actually nasty. I think it’s a very unfair
image for the wolf. The wolf is, after all,
a very cooperative animal. And that’s why many of you
have a dog at home, which has all these characteristics also. And it’s really unfair to humanity, because humanity is actually
much more cooperative and empathic than given credit for. So I started getting
interested in those issues and studying that in other animals. So these are the pillars of morality. If you ask anyone,
“What is morality based on?” these are the two factors
that always come out. One is reciprocity, and associated with it is a sense
of justice and a sense of fairness. And the other one is empathy
and compassion. And human morality is more than this,
but if you would remove these two pillars, there would be not much
remaining, I think. So they’re absolutely essential. So let me give you a few examples here. This is a very old video
from the Yerkes Primate Center, where they trained
chimpanzees to cooperate. So this is already
about a hundred years ago that we were doing
experiments on cooperation. What you have here is two
young chimpanzees who have a box, and the box is too heavy
for one chimp to pull in. And of course, there’s food on the box. Otherwise they wouldn’t
be pulling so hard. And so they’re bringing in the box. And you can see that they’re synchronized. You can see that they work together,
they pull at the same moment. It’s already a big advance
over many other animals who wouldn’t be able to do that. Now you’re going to get
a more interesting picture, because now one
of the two chimps has been fed. So one of the two is not really interested
in the task anymore. (Laughter) (Laughter) (Laughter) [- and sometimes appears to convey
its wishes and meanings by gestures.] Now look at what happens
at the very end of this. (Laughter) He takes basically everything. (Laughter) There are two interesting
parts about this. One is that the chimp on the right has a full understanding
he needs the partner — so a full understanding
of the need for cooperation. The second one is that the partner
is willing to work even though he’s not
interested in the food. Why would that be? Well, that probably
has to do with reciprocity. There’s actually a lot of evidence
in primates and other animals that they return favors. He will get a return favor
at some point in the future. And so that’s how this all operates. We do the same task with elephants. Now, it’s very dangerous
to work with elephants. Another problem with elephants
is that you cannot make an apparatus that is too heavy for a single elephant. Now you can probably make it, but it’s going to be a pretty
clumsy apparatus, I think. And so what we did in that case — we do these studies in Thailand
for Josh Plotnik — is we have an apparatus around which
there is a rope, a single rope. And if you pull on this side of the rope,
the rope disappears on the other side. So two elephants need to pick it up
at exactly the same time, and pull. Otherwise nothing is going to happen
and the rope disappears. The first tape you’re going to see is two elephants who are released together
arrive at the apparatus. The apparatus is on the left,
with food on it. And so they come together,
they arrive together, they pick it up together,
and they pull together. So it’s actually fairly simple for them. There they are. So that’s how they bring it in. But now we’re going to make it
more difficult. Because the purpose of this experiment is to see how well
they understand cooperation. Do they understand that as well
as the chimps, for example? What we do in the next step is we release
one elephant before the other and that elephant needs to be smart enough to stay there and wait
and not pull at the rope — because if he pulls at the rope,
it disappears and the whole test is over. Now this elephant does something illegal
that we did not teach it. But it shows the understanding he has, because he puts his big foot on the rope, stands on the rope
and waits there for the other, and then the other is going
to do all the work for him. So it’s what we call freeloading. (Laughter) But it shows the intelligence
that the elephants have. They developed several
of these alternative techniques that we did not approve of, necessarily. (Laughter) So the other elephant is now coming … and is going to pull it in. Now look at the other;
it doesn’t forget to eat, of course. (Laughter) This was the cooperation
and reciprocity part. Now something on empathy. Empathy is my main topic
at the moment, of research. And empathy has two qualities: One is the understanding part of it. This is just a regular definition: the ability to understand and share
the feelings of another. And the emotional part. Empathy has basically two channels:
One is the body channel, If you talk with a sad person, you’re going to adopt
a sad expression and a sad posture, and before you know it, you feel sad. And that’s sort of the body channel
of emotional empathy, which many animals have. Your average dog has that also. That’s why people keep mammals in the home and not turtles or snakes
or something like that, who don’t have that kind of empathy. And then there’s a cognitive channel, which is more that you can take
the perspective of somebody else. And that’s more limited. Very few animals, I think elephants
and apes, can do that kind of thing. So synchronization, which is part of that whole
empathy mechanism, is a very old one in the animal kingdom. In humans, of course,
we can study that with yawn contagion. Humans yawn when others yawn. And it’s related to empathy. It activates the same areas in the brain. Also, we know that people
who have a lot of yawn contagion are highly empathic. People who have problems with empathy,
such as autistic children, they don’t have yawn contagion. So it is connected. And we study that in our chimpanzees
by presenting them with an animated head. So that’s what you see on the upper-left,
an animated head that yawns. And there’s a chimpanzee watching, an actual real chimpanzee
watching a computer screen on which we play these animations. (Laughter) So yawn contagion
that you’re probably all familiar with — and maybe you’re going
to start yawning soon now — is something that we share
with other animals. And that’s related to that whole
body channel of synchronization that underlies empathy, and that is universal
in the mammals, basically. We also study more complex expressions —
This is consolation. This is a male chimpanzee
who has lost a fight and he’s screaming, and a juvenile comes over
and puts an arm around him and calms him down. That’s consolation. It’s very similar to human consolation. And consolation behavior — (Laughter) it’s empathy driven. Actually, the way to study
empathy in human children is to instruct a family member
to act distressed, and then to see what young children do. And so it is related to empathy, and that’s the kind
of expressions we look at. We also recently published an experiment
you may have heard about. It’s on altruism and chimpanzees, where the question is: Do chimpanzees care
about the welfare of somebody else? And for decades it had been assumed
that only humans can do that, that only humans worry
about the welfare of somebody else. Now we did a very simple experiment. We do that on chimpanzees
that live in Lawrenceville, in the field station of Yerkes. And so that’s how they live. And we call them into a room
and do experiments with them. In this case, we put
two chimpanzees side-by-side, and one has a bucket full of tokens,
and the tokens have different meanings. One kind of token feeds
only the partner who chooses, the other one feeds both of them. So this is a study we did
with Vicki Horner. And here, you have the two color tokens. So they have a whole bucket full of them. And they have to pick
one of the two colors. You will see how that goes. So if this chimp makes the selfish choice, which is the red token in this case, he needs to give it to us, we pick it up, we put it on a table
where there’s two food rewards, but in this case, only the one
on the right gets food. The one on the left walks away
because she knows already that this is not a good test for her. Then the next one is the pro-social token. So the one who makes the choices —
that’s the interesting part here — for the one who makes the choices,
it doesn’t really matter. So she gives us now a pro-social
token and both chimps get fed. So the one who makes the choices
always gets a reward. So it doesn’t matter whatsoever. And she should actually
be choosing blindly. But what we find is that they prefer
the pro-social token. So this is the 50 percent line,
that’s the random expectation. And especially if the partner draws
attention to itself, they choose more. And if the partner
puts pressure on them — so if the partner starts spitting water
and intimidating them — then the choices go down. (Laughter) It’s as if they’re saying, “If you’re not behaving,
I’m not going to be pro-social today.” And this is what happens
without a partner, when there’s no partner sitting there. So we found that the chimpanzees do care
about the well-being of somebody else — especially, these are other members
of their own group. So the final experiment
that I want to mention to you is our fairness study. And so this became a very famous study. And there are now many more, because after we did this
about 10 years ago, it became very well-known. And we did that originally
with Capuchin monkeys. And I’m going to show you
the first experiment that we did. It has now been done
with dogs and with birds and with chimpanzees. But with Sarah Brosnan,
we started out with Capuchin monkeys. So what we did is we put
two Capuchin monkeys side-by-side. Again, these animals, live in a group,
they know each other. We take them out of the group,
put them in a test chamber. And there’s a very simple task
that they need to do. And if you give both of them
cucumber for the task, the two monkeys side-by-side, they’re perfectly willing
to do this 25 times in a row. So cucumber, even though
it’s only really water in my opinion, but cucumber is perfectly fine for them. Now if you give the partner grapes — the food preferences
of my Capuchin monkeys correspond exactly with the prices
in the supermarket — and so if you give them grapes —
it’s a far better food — then you create inequity between them. So that’s the experiment we did. Recently, we videotaped it
with new monkeys who’d never done the task, thinking that maybe they would have
a stronger reaction, and that turned out to be right. The one on the left is the monkey
who gets cucumber. The one on the right
is the one who gets grapes. The one who gets cucumber — note that the first piece
of cucumber is perfectly fine. The first piece she eats. Then she sees the other one getting grape,
and you will see what happens. So she gives a rock to us.
That’s the task. And we give her a piece
of cucumber and she eats it. The other one needs to give a rock to us. And that’s what she does. And she gets a grape … and eats it. The other one sees that. She gives a rock to us now, gets, again, cucumber. (Laughter) (Laughter ends) She tests a rock now against the wall. She needs to give it to us. And she gets cucumber again. (Laughter) So this is basically
the Wall Street protest that you see here. (Laughter) (Applause) I still have two minutes left — let me tell you a funny story about this. This study became very famous
and we got a lot of comments, especially anthropologists,
economists, philosophers. They didn’t like this at all. Because they had decided
in their minds, I believe, that fairness is a very complex issue,
and that animals cannot have it. And so one philosopher even wrote us that it was impossible that monkeys
had a sense of fairness because fairness was invented
during the French Revolution. (Laughter) And another one wrote a whole chapter saying that he would believe
it had something to do with fairness, if the one who got grapes
would refuse the grapes. Now the funny thing is that Sarah Brosnan,
who’s been doing this with chimpanzees, had a couple of combinations
of chimpanzees where, indeed, the one
who would get the grape would refuse the grape
until the other guy also got a grape. So we’re getting very close
to the human sense of fairness. And I think philosophers need
to rethink their philosophy for a while. So let me summarize. I believe there’s an evolved morality. I think morality is much more
than what I’ve been talking about, but it would be impossible
without these ingredients that we find in other primates, which are empathy and consolation, pro-social tendencies and reciprocity
and a sense of fairness. And so we work on these particular issues to see if we can create a morality
from the bottom up, so to speak, without necessarily
god and religion involved, and to see how we can get
to an evolved morality. And I thank you for your attention. (Applause)

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100 Comments

  • Reply vial.of.photons March 8, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    This is why organized religion was created, to convince the ones being treated unfairly that it does not matter, because a bigger reward will be waiting for them in heaven.

  • Reply Sylwester Woodest March 10, 2019 at 12:54 am

    FOR THE CROWD UNFAIRNESS IS FUNNY

  • Reply 台北幹小事 March 13, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    13:42 why he is sleeping? who is this guy?

  • Reply King March 13, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    When you lie you becomes evil, when you forgive you becomes good. And when you sacrifice you atone for your mistakes. Anything in this world but human are capable of such spiritual acts. Don't humiliate yourself.

  • Reply Dominik Ne March 14, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    The dislikes are from the Capuchins that didn't get the grapes

  • Reply MR GRXXN March 18, 2019 at 5:51 am

    7:57 the elephants kinda look like big puppies it’s cute

  • Reply Abhinav Ramesh {TV} March 20, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Please show all the religious fanatic morons this who still think that human beings are special snowflakes compared to the rest of the animal kingdom

  • Reply differous01 March 23, 2019 at 1:29 am

    "We have this image … that 'man is a wolf to man', so deep down our nature is actually nasty." [2:40] Which is true, provided you accept the other side of this 'Romulus-Remus' coin: "The strength of the pack is the wolf AND the strength of the wolf is the pack" [Kipling] The 'good' leader shares the kill & protects the cubs or gets deposed. Ape leaders likewise must 'bring home the bacon'. (chimp hunt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ezZNOWMLMo )

  • Reply lart76 March 24, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Jordan Peterson dislike this video

  • Reply James Wilson March 24, 2019 at 3:59 am

    If only Christopher Hitchens had lived

  • Reply Artjoms Pugacovs March 25, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Ohh great thats why im vegan too.

  • Reply cheese chisel March 29, 2019 at 3:10 am

    excellent +sub

  • Reply Goku March 29, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    Really well done by the animals. I don't like how the animals are caged and laughed at like toys, sadly that's part of the way scientists treat animals.

    Of course animals understand fairness and respect. Animals are much more intelligent than people give them credit for, in many ways animals are more intelligent than people. For those people and scientists who think they are above animals in the evolutionary scale, again they sadly mistaken. Evolution is non-linear and people are simply egoistical per usual.

  • Reply KLJF March 30, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    i'm in love with my username

  • Reply akim ishchayil March 31, 2019 at 3:44 am

    The hostility paradigm or myth promoted by the bourgeois class was designed to justify capitalism and to keep the proletariat at odds with one another so as not to unite in the interest of the collective

  • Reply akim ishchayil March 31, 2019 at 4:06 am

    I disdain when westerners classify all humans collectively. Europeans have believed these myths about the animal kingdom. Not all people. I have lived in the jungles of South America and have interacted with many wild animals and know how compassionate they can be.

  • Reply Creatif Etudes April 2, 2019 at 11:47 am

    God is inherently in us even if you don't believe yet…

  • Reply 호롤롤로 April 2, 2019 at 11:47 am

    jordan peterson must see this video!

  • Reply Inês Paschoarelli April 7, 2019 at 6:35 am

    Essas palestras da TED são normalmente muito bons, algumas são excelentes e este cai nessa última categoria. Essa foi espetacular por três motivos, o primeiro é o tema que é bem interessante, o segundo é a habilidade de demonstrar as premissas do autor com vídeos de animais. O terceiro foi o humor que cativa a atenção e a gente relaxa ao mesmo tempo em que reflete e aprende.

  • Reply Seeking the Trinity April 9, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Why do scientist always have the goal of proving God has nothing to do with morality, or more to the point morality is a function of totally social animals therefore God is dead. Sheez! Try proving that God didn’t instill these attributes in the first place. Science can REVEAL God and NOT be in conflict with each other. One doesn’t HAVE TO cancel out the other. Why make it a competition?

  • Reply Camila Filippini April 12, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    The video is great, plenty of useful knowledge. I deeply regret that for us to have the knowledge, we have to have animals slaved.
    I'm sure we will develope better ways to study animal behaviour without having them on cages. At least, I hope so.

  • Reply Amazing Supergirl April 13, 2019 at 3:08 am

    The animated yawning chimp made me yawn too 😮

  • Reply Amazing Supergirl April 13, 2019 at 3:47 am

    Isn’t it pushing it to call this “fairness”? That chimp doesn’t want a grape just because the other got a grape. She wants it because she knows it’s a possibility and likes them better. It’s not an equality response. If you give a kid carrot sticks but he sees ice cream sitting on the table, he’ll want ice cream instead. It’s not not about being fair with the table.

  • Reply Fur Queue April 13, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Just started watching… please tell me I'm not going to have to watch a squirrel money throw a grape out of a cage, like every other f * ing Ted talk while the sterile middle class audience titter

  • Reply Kristi McGowan/ Darko’s Cellar Door April 18, 2019 at 6:00 am

    I loved this video! Of course animals feel emotions just like we do!!
    Cheers

  • Reply jamesblunt006 April 18, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    326 philosophers disliked this video.

  • Reply Randi Beal April 19, 2019 at 12:35 am

    Oh my gosh!!! The cucumbergrape thing was hilarious!!

  • Reply Sandra April 23, 2019 at 2:48 am

    Even more proof that we don't need morality to be dictated by a man-made, Bronze age, myth called christianity. God ain't real. We have morality within. Evolution gave us that.

  • Reply Batflapers April 24, 2019 at 12:28 am

    What was 13:41? Subtle cut to someone sleeping

  • Reply Joe Jugashvili April 25, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Wonderful for a non-1st-language English speaker….. doesn't put pathetic on the end of empathy, making it empathetic. That's pathetic, really, when people do that. Yeah, I know. Off topic. Don't you just hate it when people are so domn pedantic about English and Grammar?

  • Reply Noah Camuso April 30, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    I thought that the grape chimp would trade half a cucumber for half a grape

  • Reply Jonathan Hughes May 4, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    James 1:27. KJV old Scofield Study Bible. Jesus showed us what religon is. How did religon become what is today? Pay is an evil man made thing. God made free. Of every tree you may freely eat.

  • Reply Capt777harris May 4, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    I don't see the purpose nor necessity of this experiment. Everyday you can see animals cooperating or helping one another out. This just strikes me as being another pointless data gathering experiment. I would call it cruel save for the fact that no animals are getting hurt.

  • Reply Daniela Paz ccc May 6, 2019 at 5:27 am

    I just finished his book "Primates and Philosophers" and, as a student of biology and philosophy, it was amazing. I really want to work in ethology when I graduate. It has the perfect conditions for biology and philosophy to work together. This book illustrates a lot about morality and about how it is time for science to take charge of matters that, at first sight, do not correspond to investigate.

  • Reply Susan Christiansz May 7, 2019 at 5:31 am

    It saddens me to see these wild creatures in cages!  We can learn much more from studying animals in THEIR natural environments – it's called:"ethology'!

  • Reply Tom Meyers May 7, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    If you put animals on welfare they become violent. They have no self worth, only despair and self loathing.

  • Reply Threelly AI May 8, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Youtube comments are full of amusements sometimes….
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/threelly-ai-for-youtube/dfohlnjmjiipcppekkbhbabjbnikkibo

  • Reply M Wal May 10, 2019 at 11:51 am

    i wonder if the "equality token" was chosen if there was a different species of animal in the other cage…

  • Reply Basie Settle May 10, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    This is the central thrust of the works of Peter Kropotkin, a late 19th-century scientist and philosopher whose works "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution" (1902) and "Ethics: Origins and Development" (1922) lay out a concrete case for evolved morality — although he called it evolutionary ethics. It's immensely satisfying, as a fan of the obscure thinker's works, to see him vindicated in this manner, but it's also distressing to think that perhaps the horror and destruction of the 20th century could have been avoided if anyone had bothered to read him.

  • Reply Tibor Farkas May 23, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    The original video is a bit longer, because the original title is not censored: "Morality without religion".
    🙂
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le-74R9C6Bc&t=702s

  • Reply Chip Griffin May 24, 2019 at 12:18 am

    i tell you all this, heaven will be full of only the best, we all understand, but we all don't do. the reward will be great and even the animals are being tested, you thought no one was watching! how wrong you were. the test was great because the reward is forever! find the narrow path and stay on it!!!do what is right, wrong will never become right. we all know what the right thing to do is, even the animals know, so what will your excuse be?

  • Reply Katie Rae June 3, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Baby chimp is great torture specimen

  • Reply Deevz June 10, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    oh yeah yeah

  • Reply Clint Wolf June 12, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Incredibly interesting. Thanks for this talk.

  • Reply MeMyself &i June 12, 2019 at 2:05 am

    the monkeys had no choice, people have a choice. If you are not satisfied, you can go find another job.

  • Reply Crystal M June 16, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I’m sorry the philosopher said fairness was INVENTED during the French Revolution??
    Uh, not only were there plenty of uprisings and wars before that time – THINK ABOUT TRADE! Trade happens when I give you my product and you give me yours.
    If my product is a finished Sword and yours is a finished loaf of bread there would be no deal.
    Why, because it would be UNFAIR!

  • Reply RedYellowBlue June 18, 2019 at 4:09 am

    I love this work and am grateful to have people who are advocates of the depth and importance of animals. We as humans tend to put ourselves above all other species.

  • Reply Grizzbear June 22, 2019 at 8:01 am

    This is stupid comparing mammals such as great apes, elephants, monkeys and to think its amazing that they show these qualities, I dunno why everyone is laughing In the audience it's nothing new just shows how out of touch we are with the other beings on this planet 🌏 🤔🙄.

  • Reply YJ Adriana July 6, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Criminals work together to murder, they look out for each other, they are bros, are they demonstrating high morality? I don't think empathy, cooperation, fairness by itself is morality, it empathize what, cooperate on what, fair on what, the purpose the goal makes what's moral and what's not.

  • Reply Tim Hallas July 19, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Then there are those who will insist that only humans have a soul, a mind, an awareness of the self. That we exist separate from the body and are eternal beings, manifested in a relationship to a creator god. So blind to reality are they, that they know only what is imagined. It is far, far easier to imagine a creator in the mind, than for one to be.. So much so, that that we can accept the evidence before us, that we indeed created God.

  • Reply スタークケヴィン 仙 July 19, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    336 people didn't get a grape.

  • Reply LagiNaLangAko23 July 22, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    I LOLed when he tested the rock. Like he was saying "There's nothing wrong with this. Why am I not getting grapes?".

  • Reply harry nac July 27, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Jordan Peterson should read more Frans de Waal.

  • Reply Esben Rasmussen July 30, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    just yawned synced up with the chimp 9:45

  • Reply bart thomassen thomassen August 6, 2019 at 2:23 am

    Animals are incapable of morality or morale thinking. This is nonsensical and highly assumptive. He is confusing a behavior with intent, which he cannot know. Also empathy and reciprocity are not the pillars of morality. They might be pillars for Judeo Christian morality but very certainly are not pillars for all morality and there are many examples to the contrary by non Western or pagan societies which also had their own sets of moral ideas and rules.

    Also reciprocity is more about utilitarianism than morality. If you do something with the anticipation that you will receive a reward, that is simple self preservation or greed. Morality is about the ought or should principle or the opposite and why or why not? None of this has anything at all to do with morality.

  • Reply jolly roger August 6, 2019 at 3:52 am

    This should be a part of  every school's curriculum.

  • Reply Anna Summers August 8, 2019 at 7:10 am

    As soon as I saw my brother the wolf as the evil .. I stopped watching

  • Reply Zulu Man August 9, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    I always tell people I have my dog with me I'm a truck driver and sometimes people say oh my God it's a dog as if they're scared of him and I say to them you can learn a lot from this dog I feed this dog he would not bite me but if I feed a human they will stab me in the back

  • Reply Susanna Saunders August 10, 2019 at 6:33 am

    All good and interesting but shouldn't we (as a dominant species) aim to be better than apes and be role models for the behaviour that should be set? Just being equal to apes in our standard of morality is no great achievement… We should use our intelligence to weed out injustice and inequality, not excuse it or look for justifications for perpetuating inequality. Until society evolves to the point that we all get the same reward (regardless of our output), we remain no better than apes.
    Capitalism is doomed to fail because it's central pillors are greed and inequality, which inevitably leads to people fighting with pitch forks when the marginalised have had enough of being taken advantage of…

  • Reply brutus brutalis August 10, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Even apes understand that capitalism is evil.

  • Reply Brunx Politico August 11, 2019 at 1:02 am

    Thanks Newt…..

  • Reply Kitten Mom August 11, 2019 at 5:02 am

    Great research! My cats have different dietary requirements due to their medical condition and age. I receive disapproving expressions and long meows when the other kitties don't get the same type of food. Cats also have a sense of fairness, and reciprocal emotions. My dog and cats are also very jealous of each other. If I pet one of them, the others also come to me and try to nudge the others away, so they will get the pettings.

  • Reply M Robertson August 17, 2019 at 4:01 am

    Hilarious. But this is not moral behavior; it is immoral behavior. This is how animals, young children, and unregenerate adults act. More than two thousand years of Judeo–Christian thought expose jealousy and envy as social evils. Humanity is called upon to rise above base animal instincts of fairness. Train children to become righteous men and women who reject vain animal passions. Thinking themselves wise, they became fools. Rom. 1:22

  • Reply Honza Lajksner August 20, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Of course social animals help and care and even stand up for each other, thats what makes them social. Not much use living in a group if you just hang aroud close to each other but dont engage in any way.

  • Reply Craig Wheeless August 24, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    We’ve all seen, but some refuse to recognize, that animals have complex emotions and feelings too. Pets waiting for their owners, overjoyed on their return, mourning by their casket. I’m reminded of a documentary called “Black Fish” about Orca whales separated from their family. In it, a mother orca and her calf were separated. She cried out and wailed for her calf and went into depression. It made me ashamed of humanity, that humans could be so inconsiderate and cruel to animals just for our entertainment. Our world is beautiful and precious. It’s a shame that we can’t find a way to advance civilization without destroying our environment. Future generations will pay dearly for our ignorance and selfishness.

  • Reply Talani Greywolf August 27, 2019 at 12:56 am

    I "like"ed this just for the monkey hurling the cucumber back at the tech!

  • Reply Cat Keys August 27, 2019 at 3:59 am

    In some cases, one monkey would refuse a grape until the other monkey got a grape- that, to me, says the most about altruism in other species. Obviously, then, humans don't have the market cornered on empathy and pro-social behavior, or so it certainly seems.

  • Reply wendeln92 August 29, 2019 at 4:00 am

    A few comments here say things about this type of science knocking humans down a few notches, or showing us our place in the world, etc, etc. It really has nothing to do with that. What it does show us is that animals are much more complex and intelligent than originally thought. It shows us that animals are socially complex, that they can think, reason, respond to situations, etc, etc. If we  think animals are just mindless, soulless things that are basically running on instinct, it makes us feel superior and it relieves of us any guilt about how way we treat them, and the fact that we harvest and eat so many, usually in very inhumane ways. Superiority has nothing to do with it, our ability to have some level of respect for the creatures we share this world with has everything to do with it.

  • Reply gj 2323 September 1, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Very juvenile studies…already mentioned in a lot of old books…also you saying that fairness was discovered during french revolution is a Joke….they may have labelled it so.But Human civilization is very old and biult on all these things….

  • Reply vorniceanu ionut September 2, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Animals are more alike with humans than they like to admit.

  • Reply Malcolm Nadeau September 3, 2019 at 7:25 am

    I came here for the monkeys. Where the ee-ee-ee are the monkeys!!!
    I hate seeing these creatures in captivity like they're products instead of living beings.

  • Reply Pankaj Panda September 5, 2019 at 1:43 am

    I learnt a lot of things about animal behaviour.

  • Reply Mike Puorro September 5, 2019 at 2:27 am

    WOW!

  • Reply Erinn Earth - devaPriya Yogini September 5, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Interesting. Yet more interesting is the white man's obsession with removing animals from their habitat, putting them in cages and teaching them redundant activities to test their morals. You can simply observe them in their own environment and literally come to the same conclusions as does the scientific community who chooses to abuse nature in this way instead of respecting it. And using some brains. If these guys really need to do all this to get to this conclusion, they are the ones that need to be studied!

  • Reply Ganesh R September 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    it's actually just human ego to think that we are different and look for "our" type of behaviour. Actually if we look for "their" type of behaviour in us, and with genuine honesty, then we will see that we are no different and in fact in certain aspects, we are much worse off than "animals". The scale of mayhem (over history) that we can and have unleashed can never be matched by "them".

  • Reply Laura Brooks September 7, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    Um, can't see everything that going on due to the English subtitles of a guy speaking English. What up.

  • Reply flymasterA September 8, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Living on an atheist planer would be something else. No morals and thus no guilt. Obey the rules unless you can break them without getting caught. It's all about chimp power and the resulting physical gratifications. Just think how many problems could be easily solved. Got a lousy neighbor? Just kill him and don't get caught. A lot of problems could be solved by people just killing others that they don't agree with or they have something they want.

    No right or wrong, no morals, no personal responsibility, just a 'might makes right' advanced evolved chimp society. Wouldn't that be great?

  • Reply Aimless Studios September 8, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    It has nothing to do with morality its just evolution. If a species doesn't have these traits its because it wasn't advantageous for their ancestors.

  • Reply jack freeman September 8, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    What is so heartwarming about this is its optimism – there's hope for us yet.

  • Reply Eva Sartorius September 8, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    You make me think of my momma cat who went out and caught a mouse for my momma dog who wouldn't leave her pup. Kindness it a trait all living beings possess.

  • Reply Átila September 8, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    I'm not yawning, you're yawning.

  • Reply Dharma September 9, 2019 at 5:54 am

    We are animals. Just in case you don't know it.

  • Reply Shedding September 9, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Looks. This video had shown us how we are so damn close to our nearest private relatives. What I don't get is why don't we do more of the bonobo behavior without judgement?

  • Reply Janet Donald September 9, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Animals are sentient beings, please consider going plant based to put to an end the systematic cruelty in the animal agriculture industry.🐥🐣🐮🦆🐷💕

  • Reply Lynn Rolaf September 9, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    I yawned!!! 😆

  • Reply anamaria September 9, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    How could you segregate the Creator from His Own creation, a chimp can do better to pull the right conclusion. All nice, up to the last minute.Best wishes in finding it

  • Reply Dead Parroting September 10, 2019 at 2:32 am

    This is extremely enlightening and I think it has a very relevant message for today's society. The question is, how do we best convey this message about morality to the people of today?

  • Reply David Garris September 10, 2019 at 3:08 am

    Animals are sentient beings. On the other hand we are torturous barbaric inbreeding murdering fools. Atheist Minimalist and Vegan is the best way. Life is not about working for a Range Rover, a 5000 sq ft house, and raping the Earth.

  • Reply lizvlx September 10, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    autistic children do not just have empathy problems – i got one right here and i am one too – and we yawn just like anyone else.

  • Reply Charles Anthony September 10, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    I don't mean to be a sour grape. You folks obviously dig Nature. [email protected] Don't really want to get political here either. But we can't let NOAA drink the Zombie Kool-Aid.

  • Reply Myrrhis September 10, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    I yawned when they showed the photo of people yawning. Yup, yawn contagion, I haz it.

  • Reply N N Disconnect September 10, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Its sad to see them in prison

  • Reply Ron Malcom September 10, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Morals animals have it humans not so much, me yes…

  • Reply Darth Potato September 11, 2019 at 3:47 am

    This is Arnold Schwarzenegger nerd brother.

  • Reply Mr. Freiheit September 11, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Creatures with long noses are adept at freeloading…aren’t they?

  • Reply Eric Christen September 11, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Yep, common knowledge for all animal lovers – for thousands of years actually.

  • Reply Paul T Sjordal September 11, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Morality is just a survival strategy for social mammals.

    Since other social mammals lack the ability to communicate ideology, we can say that in all but one species of social mammal, morality definitely does not come from any diety. If all the other species gained morals without religion, then it is safe to posit that the one remaining species probably didn't get it from religion either. We probably had it before we gained sentience.

  • Reply Riri Airi September 11, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Came for the thumbnail. Adorable.

  • Reply todd shaw September 12, 2019 at 12:07 am

    No surprise here. Animals are awesome

  • Reply Brian Hensley September 12, 2019 at 5:33 am

    As I watch this I can't help thinking how much better off everyone would be without science.

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