Animals Make Friends, Too

Humans value love and friendship that aren't just forged by family ties or sexual attraction. Now researchers have determined that such friendships exist among some animals.

Prior studies determined that elephants, dolphins, some carnivores and certain non-human primates, such as chimpanzees, have the ability—just as humans do—to maintain enduring friendships in highly dynamic social environments. A new study, published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, adds bats to that list. Female wild Bechstein's bats prefer to literally hang out with certain friends while they also keep loose ties to the rest of their colony. Lead author Gerald Kerth told Discovery News that these bat buddies mirror human ones.

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