Strong social ties and large families help monkeys live longer

Female rhesus macaques with many close female relatives have better life expectancy and each extra female relative reduces a prime-aged female macaque’s chances of dying

Strong social ties and large families help monkeys live longer


A new research has said that strong social ties and large families help monkeys live longer.

The findings showed that female rhesus macaques with many close female relatives have better life expectancy and each extra female relative reduced a prime-aged female macaque`s chances of dying in one year by 2.3 percent.

"Our study supports the idea that social ties promote survival. This adds to a small but growing body of research that helps to explain why animals are social," said Lauren Brent from the University of Exeter.

Macaques spend a lot of time interacting with one another. Being groomed helps rid them of parasites, while being aggressive helps establish their place in the social order.

However, the effect fades with age - suggesting older females learn how to "navigate the social landscape" and have less need for social ties, the researchers said.

"One possible explanation for this is that older females behave differently from their younger counterparts," Brent noted.

"Older females were still involved in society but seemed better able to pick and choose their involvement. The experience and social skills females gain with age could mean they no longer need to rely on help from their friends to get by," he said.

Monkeys are haplorhine primates, a group generally possessing tails and consisting of about 260 known living species.

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