Affable apes live longer, study shows

October 09, 2018

Male chimps that are less aggressive and form strong social bonds tend to live longer, research suggests.

A study of hundreds of captive chimpanzees showed that males that get along well with others - by being sensitive, protective and cooperative - outlived their less amiable peers.

The team, led by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, found that, contrary to studies of humans and other primates, being more extroverted, conscientious or neurotic had no impact on chimpanzee's longevity.

Extraversion is frequently associated with longer life in other nonhuman primates, while conscientiousness and neuroticism are associated with longer and shorter life, respectively, in humans.

Using personality and survival data from 538 chimpanzees - our closest ape relative - the study tested which aspects of their personalities were associated with longevity.

Results suggest that amongst male chimps, evolution has favoured those that are more agreeable.

Researchers also found some evidence that female chimps who demonstrated openness - those who more readily explored and adapted to changes in their physical and social environments - were more likely to live longer.

The researchers, including colleagues from the US and Japan, assessed chimps' personalities based on a questionnaire of common adjectives and chimpanzee behaviours completed by keepers and researchers who worked with these animals for between seven and 24 years.

The chimps lived in zoos, research facilities and sanctuaries located in the UK, US, Netherlands, Australia and Japan.

The study, published in eLife, is the one of the largest ever analyses of individual behaviour data from chimpanzees or any other great ape.

The findings suggest that links between personality and lifespan in people may not be entirely explained by inherent characterises, but that lifestyle may play a greater part.

Drew Altschul, Postdoctoral Fellow in the University of Edinburgh's School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, said: "Studying the personality of chimps - one of our closest biological relatives - suggests that the quality of our social relationships can significantly impact our lives."
-end-


University of Edinburgh

Related Evolution Articles from Brightsurf:

Seeing evolution happening before your eyes
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg established an automated pipeline to create mutations in genomic enhancers that let them watch evolution unfold before their eyes.

A timeline on the evolution of reptiles
A statistical analysis of that vast database is helping scientists better understand the evolution of these cold-blooded vertebrates by contradicting a widely held theory that major transitions in evolution always happened in big, quick (geologically speaking) bursts, triggered by major environmental shifts.

Looking at evolution's genealogy from home
Evolution leaves its traces in particular in genomes. A team headed by Dr.

How boundaries become bridges in evolution
The mechanisms that make organisms locally fit and those responsible for change are distinct and occur sequentially in evolution.

Genome evolution goes digital
Dr. Alan Herbert from InsideOutBio describes ground-breaking research in a paper published online by Royal Society Open Science.

Paleontology: Experiments in evolution
A new find from Patagonia sheds light on the evolution of large predatory dinosaurs.

A window into evolution
The C4 cycle supercharges photosynthesis and evolved independently more than 62 times.

Is evolution predictable?
An international team of scientists working with Heliconius butterflies at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama was faced with a mystery: how do pairs of unrelated butterflies from Peru to Costa Rica evolve nearly the same wing-color patterns over and over again?

Predicting evolution
A new method of 're-barcoding' DNA allows scientists to track rapid evolution in yeast.

Insect evolution: Insect evolution
Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have shown that the incidence of midge and fly larvae in amber is far higher than previously thought.

Read More: Evolution News and Evolution Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.