Reciprocal trading of different commodities in Norway rats

Schweinfurth, Manon Karin; Taborsky, Michael (2018). Reciprocal trading of different commodities in Norway rats. Current Biology, 28(4), pp. 594-599. Cell Press 10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.058

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The prevalence of reciprocal cooperation in non-human animals is hotly debated. Part of this dispute rests on the assumption that reciprocity means paying like with like. However, exchanges between social partners may involve different commodities and services. Hitherto, there is no experimental evidence that animals other than primates exchange different commodities among conspecifics based on the decision rules of direct reciprocity. Here, we show that Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) apply direct reciprocity rules when exchanging two different social services: food provisioning and allogrooming. Focal rats were made to experience partners either cooperating or non-cooperating in one of the two commodities. Afterward, they had the opportunity to reciprocate favors by the alternative service. Test rats traded allogrooming against food provisioning, and vice versa, thereby acting by the rules of direct reciprocity. This might indicate that reciprocal altruism among non-human animals is much more widespread than currently assumed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Behavioural Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Schweinfurth, Manon Karin and Taborsky, Michael

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

0960-9822

Publisher:

Cell Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Joachim Gerhard Frommen

Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2019 16:40

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 04:07

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.058

PubMed ID:

29398215

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.124571

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/124571

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