View Full Version : Rats Feel Each Other's Pain

11th December 2011, 03:07 AM
Rats are emapathetic (apparently, so are mice). As a longtime lover of mice and other rodents, this doesn't surprise me in the least, but it does pose interesting questions about empathy, in general, including between humans.

Anyway, here's the article about the rats:


11th December 2011, 06:26 AM
I don't see the rats acting to relieve their own stress as all that different to empathy. Certainly if they're experiencing empathy it will be distressing to see another creature suffer.

A few days ago, Bella grabbed a galah that was already grounded for some reason. It was a terrible few seconds while I freed the bird from her grasp by yanking her off it. In addition to the bird's distress cries, which I can only describe as screams, were the cries of the birds in the trees above us. I noticed for the rest of the walk that two other birds - not galahs or the usual magpies - appeared to swoop at Bella, almost with a sense of "We know what you did," about it. Or maybe I was just projecting that last bit.

The galah was still down and alive when we came back but I suspect that Bella wasn't the first large animal to violate it that day and, afterwards, it may well have gone off somewhere to die. Poor thing.