Are Rats Empathetic?

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Are Rats Empathetic?

Postby wolfhnd on September 23rd, 2017, 2:29 pm 

The Intriguing New Science That Could Change Your Mind About Rats

https://www.wired.com/2015/01/reconsider-the-rat/
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Re: Are Rats Empathetic?

Postby Serpent on September 23rd, 2017, 5:33 pm 

But didn't we already know that they're intelligent and social?
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Re: Are Rats Empathetic?

Postby BadgerJelly on September 24th, 2017, 1:20 am 

Serpent » September 24th, 2017, 5:33 am wrote:But didn't we already know that they're intelligent and social?


Exactly my thoughts. Of course rats have empathy.

There is a funny lecture by Jordan Peterson where he explains that big rats let small rats win some fights. They do this because they like to play fight and understand that if they used their full force all the time the little rat would stop playing with them.
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Re: Are Rats Empathetic?

Postby Braininvat on September 24th, 2017, 10:32 am 

I see that a wolf, a snake, and a badger have all weighed in on the topic.

Any social mammalian species seems likely to show empathic behavior. I've noticed cats, who are descended from solitary hunters and so originally not social after kittenhood, have become far more social in domestication. They appear to have adapted kitten social behaviors and retooled them for adult life with humans, adding refinements. Our large male, Vlad, is quite empathic and socialized. He will get upset when another cat is trapped outside (that most evil of human inventions: the door) and often, with humans who seem listless or depressed in some way, will make attempts to cheer them up. We joke that he was a dog in a previous life. Someone in the family once dubbed him a "therapy cat."
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Re: Are Rats Empathetic?

Postby wolfhnd on September 24th, 2017, 5:26 pm 

When I broke my back our cat like (anti social) Borzoi keep trying to bring me food. In domesticated animals expression of instincts seems hit and miss.
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Re: Are Rats Empathetic?

Postby Serpent on September 24th, 2017, 7:52 pm 

wolfhnd » September 24th, 2017, 4:26 pm wrote:When I broke my back our cat like (anti social) Borzoi keep trying to bring me food. In domesticated animals expression of instincts seems hit and miss.

That's because they're constantly trying out instinctive bahaviours that evolved in one kind of environment to a situation in a very different environment. It's perfectly reasonable to bring food to a temporarily incapacitated family member who can't hunt for himself. Just as it's reasonable and appropriate to bring food to young who have been orphaned --- even if they're kittens and you're a Newfoundland, not quite clear on what kittens are supposed to be weaned on. Maybe an earthworm is soft enough?
It's always amazed me, the creativity and ingenuity dogs and cats bring to the problems of interspecies communication.
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