Lee Dugatkin reviews Natural Conflict Resolution by Filippo Aureli and Frans de Waal, in New Scientist:
Look at the world’s worst trouble spots and you can’t fail to notice they have one thing in common: tit-for-tat attacks between warring parties. Escalation of violence is incredibly destructive, yet we humans find it very difficult to break the vicious cycle. It seems we are not good at conflict resolution. Perhaps we could learn a lesson or two from the spotted hyena.
Spotted hyenas are highly sociable. Like other animals that live in close-knit groups, they don’t always get along. But spotted hyenas don’t hold a grudge. Within about 5 minutes of a fight, the erstwhile combatants can often be seen playing, licking or rubbing one another, or engaging in other friendly acts to dissipate the tension. And they are not the only animals with a penchant for kissing and making up.