Data from: Chimpanzees behave prosocially in a group-specific manner

  • Edwin J. C. Van Leeuwen (Contributor)
  • Sarah E DeTroy (Contributor)
  • Stephan P. Kaufhold (Contributor)
  • Clara Dubois (Contributor)
  • Sebastian Schütte (Contributor)
  • Josep Call (Contributor)
  • Daniel B. M. Haun (Contributor)



Chimpanzees act cooperatively in the wild, but whether they afford benefits to others, and whether their tendency to act prosocially varies across communities is unclear. Here, we show that chimpanzees from neighboring communities provide valuable resources to group members at personal cost, and that the magnitude of their prosocial behavior is group specific. Provided with a resource-donation experiment allowing for free (partner) choice, we observed an increase in prosocial acts across the study period in the majority of chimpanzees. When group members could profit (test condition), chimpanzees provided resources more frequently and for longer durations than when their acts produced inaccessible resources (control condition). Strikingly, chimpanzees’ prosocial behavior was group specific, with more socially tolerant groups acting more prosocially. We conclude that chimpanzees may purposely behave prosocially toward group members, and that the notion of group-specific sociality in nonhuman animals should crucially inform discussions on the evolution of prosocial behavior.,Experimental data in a sanctuary setting. Data have been scored from video.,
Date made available14 Jan 2021

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