A sense of fairness is an important part of human behaviour, yet a research team involving Queen Mary, University of London (UK) found it did not evolve from our closest living relatives.
The study, published in the journal Biology Letters today (15 August) tested whether our great ape relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, have a sense of fairness like humans.
The scientists, involving Professor Keith Jensen, from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, put the apes through a series of ultimatum games.
One against the other, they had to choose whether to steal or leave the other's grapes. The games were set up in a variety of different ways involving equal proportions of grapes and others were split with a higher proportion given to one over the other.