Baboon bosses get stressed for success

Alpha males incur a surprising level of strain

By Bruce Bower, 15:34 PM July 13, 2011

Baboon males fight ferociously for power, only to have that power bite back.

Top-ranking males generate surprisingly high levels of stress hormones, a sign that these primates pay a cost to be the boss, report evolutionary biologist Laurence Gesquiere of Princeton University and her colleagues in the July 15 Science.

Stress-hormone levels in alpha males are on par with those of low-ranking males scuffling to survive, the study showed. Baboon bosses are burdened by having to fight off rival...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/baboon-bosses-get-stressed-success?mode=magazine&context=4506