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New experiments show rats demonstrating compassion and helping other rodents. It's a trait some scientists thought was reserved only for humans and higher primates.
"Basically they told us (freeing another rat) is as important as eating chocolate," said study author Peggy Mason of the University of Chicago. "That's a very striking thing."
In some cases, the rats first took the chocolate chips out of a container, but didn't eat them, then freed the other rat and shared "almost as if they were serving them chocolate," Mason said. The research is reported in Thursday's journal Science. Also, females showed more consistent empathy than males, Mason said.