Strong social bonds help lady baboons live longer

yellow baboons grooming

An adult male baboon grooms an adult female near Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Female baboons that have strong social ties to other male and female baboons live longer than those that aren't well connected.

Noah Snyder-Mackler, Duke Univ.

Our social bonds can affect our health and how long we live, and the same appears to be true for some baboons. Wild female baboons with stronger social connections to both female and male baboons live longer than females with weaker ties, researchers report September 10 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The study is one of the first to show that male-female bonds can boost a female baboon’s health and survival. The finding also supports the idea that survival may be a big benefit of strong relationships in social mammals other than humans.

Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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