JAN 21, 2017 10:12 AM PST

The Cuddle Hormone Likely Helps Chimps Band Together During Conflict

When it comes to chimpanzees, it turns out they often have inter-group conflicts, just like humans do. Some of these conflicts might be considered acts of “war,” because they can get quite violent, and sometimes, other chimpanzees stand up for their brethren in an attempt to ensure their survival, just like we do.

Chimpanzees tap into the power of the "Cuddle Hormone" to band together during acts of war, just like humans do.

Image Credit: Sasint/Pixabay

According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers appear to have linked the presence of oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) to the scene of extreme intergroup conflicts between chimpanzees. This hormone is responsible for helping with team coordination, maternal instinct, and love among other things.

They did this by taking samples of urine as much as possible while following 10 female and 10 male chimpanzees and then performing a hormonal analysis on those samples. Doing so revealed the presence of the cuddle hormone, which is believed to play a big part in some chimpanzees standing up for one another and banding together to fight off enemies, despite how bleak the fight looks.

“We found high urinary oxytocin levels in hunting and intergroup conflict. Both contexts involve group coordination. The chimpanzees' hormone levels were significantly higher than in contexts without coordinated group activity and were not affected by potential threat or in-group affiliative interactions”, said Liran Samuni, the lead author of the study.

“However, given that intergroup conflict showed significantly higher levels than all other examined events, we concluded that the observed effect is reinforced in the context of in-group out-group perception.”

Since these fights can become very violent (sometimes a fight to the death), it takes a lot of courage to stand up to the enemy. So much, in fact, that most normal minds would simply run away, in-line with the fight or flight response. Nevertheless, the cuddle hormone seems to give them the strength they need to fight to protect their loved ones during these conflicts.

Interestingly, the same is true of humans, showing that chimpanzees have very similar thought patterns to human and react to certain situations in the same way.

After seeing this in another species besides humans, we can now rule this out as a human-only trait. This hormone appears to play a big role in the insanity we sometimes demonstrate to keep loved ones safe.

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 25, 2018
Technology
NOV 25, 2018
Designing Leaping Robots Inspired from Jumping Aquatic Animals
Curious about the physical conditions that enable aquatic animals to leap out of water in such a graceful manner—researchers at Cornell University we...
NOV 26, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 26, 2018
Predation Drives Reproductive Patterns in Rodents, Study Finds
Smaller mammals, especially rodents, are rather low on the universal food chain. Due to the nature of their bite-sized physique, larger predators often tak...
DEC 03, 2018
Earth & The Environment
DEC 03, 2018
US to open ocean to seismic blasting
Marine creatures suffered a big loss recently with the announcement from the Trump administration that it will be allowing companies to use seismic airguns...
DEC 30, 2018
Videos
DEC 30, 2018
Trump's wall would destroy National Butterfly Center
Hundreds of thousands of butterflies pass through the center’s 100-acre sanctuary in Mission every year, including the well-known monarch and endange...
JAN 02, 2019
Plants & Animals
JAN 02, 2019
Some Hummingbirds Are Built for Fighting Instead of Feeding
Hummingbirds are seemingly peaceful creatures; with their long, flexible bills, they’re continuously sipping nectar from plants to fuel their perpetu...
JAN 08, 2019
Plants & Animals
JAN 08, 2019
This Bee Nests in Small Cavities in Australia's Banksia Trees
The world is home to all kinds of bees, some better-known than others, but all bee species play an essential role in the environment. A lesser-known specie...
Loading Comments...