14 January 2013 Last updated at 21:04 ETBy Victoria Gill BBC reporter
Sharing plays an important role in a co-operative chimp society
The human tendency to share may have more ancient evolutionary routes than previously thought.
This is according to a study of the performance of chimpanzees in a test called the “ultimatum game”.
Traditionally, the game is employed as a test of economics; two people decide how to divide a sum of money.
This modified game, in which two chimps decided how to divide a portion of banana slices, seems to have revealed the primates’ generous side.
The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was part of an effort to uncover the evolutionary routes of why we share, even when it does not make economic sense.
Scientists say this innate fairness is an important foundation of co-operative societies like ours. …(more).