Asian elephants consistently comfort each other in times of stress, a study published online in PeerJ suggests. Researchers weren't surprised that the elephants showed concern for herd mates. But "I was surprised at how consistent the elephants' consolation behavior was. Whenever an elephant showed signs of distress, a reassuring friend was sure to come console them. The number of times when elephants showed distress without a response from others was very rare," said behavioral ecologist Joshua Plotnik, co-author of the study.

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