Jailbreak Rat: Selfless Rodents Spring Their Pals and Share Their Sweets
By Ferris Jabr, Scientific American
An excerpt: The English language is not especially kind to rats. We say we "smell a rat" when something doesn't feel right, refer to stressful competition as the "rat race," and scorn traitors who "rat on" friends. But rats don't deserve their bad rap. According to a new study in the December 9 issue of Science, rats are surprisingly selfless, consistently breaking friends out of cages—even if freeing their buddies means having to share coveted chocolate. It seems that empathy and self-sacrifice have a greater evolutionary legacy than anyone expected.
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Photo courtesy of the Mason Lab/University of Chicago. (Photo by Megan Doherty.)