Swiss and British researchers have found that monkeys, like humans, communicate with each other before starting or finishing a joint activity. This type of communication has so far been known only to humans.

In the world of people, it is rude to end a conversation without saying goodbye or to start a joint task without greeting each other. Researchers at the University of Neuchatel and the University of Durham, led by biologist Raphaela Hessen, have observed similar behavior in zoo bonobos and other species of chimpanzees.

The researchers analyzed what happens before and after the animals mutually press their fur or play together. Bonobos gave target signals in 90 percent of cases and chimpanzees in 70 percent of cases before engaging in joint activities. After the shared game, fur care and communication—such as touching, shaking hands, or a mutual face—became more evident.

Interestingly, – researchers write iScience In a scientific paper – bonobos sent weaker signals when their partner was a member of a group that was closer to them socially. This is similar to the behavior we consider social etiquette or courtesy in people. “When one interacts with a good friend, one is less likely to care much about polite communication,” writes Raphaella Hessen in the study.

The researchers say this connection observed between bonobos and chimpanzees may help to better understand the origins and evolution of mutual commitment in humans.

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