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Heroic Animals More Common than Thought, Say Scientists

From The Telegraph:

Heroic behaviour among animals is far more common than previously thought, according to scientists.

Creatures including dolphins, monkeys, fruit bats and even ants are all capable of selflessly coming to the rescue of others, researchers found.

Dr Elise Nowbahari, from the University of Paris, said there is mounting evidence that willingness to go to the aid of others at personal risk is common in a range of species and far from a solely human trait.

Dolphins endanger themselves to rescue trapped dolphins, lifting an injured dolphin to the water’s surface to help it breathe, she said.

Monkeys will drive away an attacker from a vulnerable female or infants and female fruit bats help other fruit bats in labour to ease the birth.

She also said that ants frequently help other ants from the same colony if they are caught in traps or by a predator – though their heroism does not extend to helping ants from other colonies whose actual cries for help are ignored.

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