Young bonobo consoling a friend

Clay and de Waal (2013) found that young bonobos offer comfort to recipients of aggression (consolation) more often than adults, and that mother-reared individuals offer consolation more frequently than orphaned individuals, suggesting that rearing history plays an important role in emotional regulation and empathy for others.

You can read more about from De Waal’s post on The Dodo, or in their original paper:

Clay, Z. & de Waal, FBM. (2013). Bonobos respond to distress in others: Consolation across the age spectrum. PLoS ONE 8:1–13.


About Dr. Michelle A. Rodrigues

I am a primatologist/biological anthropologist who studies comparative social behavior and endocrinology. My dissertation research focused on stress and friendship in female spider monkeys. Most of my graduate research was conducted at El Zota Biological Field Station, with a little help from the spider monkeys at Brookfield Zoo, IL. I have also studied howler monkeys, rhesus monkeys, bonobos, and chimpanzees, as well as participated in studies on gorillas, pachyderms, and big cats. Currently, I am a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois, where I am examining how female friendship and social support mediate stressors experienced by teenager girls and female scientists. I've taught courses in introductory biological anthropology, world prehistory, and co-instructed a field course in primate behavior and conservation at El Zota. I love teaching about primates and evolution!
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