It is the end of the week and you may find yourself struggling to hold back yawns. Yawns are so contagious that you can catch them just by watching someone else yawn or just by reading the word “yawn.” In fact, you will probably yawn after reading this blog post.
A new study has been released showing that chimpanzees catch yawns from humans just as we humans catch yawns from each other. In other words the contagious yawn can be caught between different species!
Researchers believe that the uncontrollable reaction of catching a yawn helps to connect a sense of empathy that supports group bonds in both humans and primates. In order to catch a yawn both humans and primates are usually around the age of 4 or 5 when they have developed innate empathy. This is also true for our furry friends at home; dogs are known to catch yawns from their owners and vice versa.