10:51 GMT +323 October 2018
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    Chimpanzee

    Be Fun or Die Young: Affable Apes Live Longer, Says New Research

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    One personality trait in chimpanzees has been linked to their lifespan and it is agreeableness.

    A new study on personality link to the number of years a chimpanzee gets to live revealed that higher affability was related to longevity in males, with weaker evidence for females.

    Humans share distinct common traits with chimpanzees and just like humans — animals carry certain personalities. The study defines five traits chimps share with humans, including extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, openness, and agreeableness, as well as distinct dominance.

    The researchers used data from testing 538 captive chimpanzees to determine that in male species — the personality trait characterized by low aggression and positive social interactions- would normally mean these animals lived for longer.

    Personality’s relationship with age and sex. Each panel shows the personality scores of a specific dimension for all individuals in a scatterplot against age on the left, and on the right with bean plots showing the distribution of scores split by sex (females are on the left, males on the right). Relationships between age and each personality dimensions are illustrated in the figure supplements.
    Personality’s relationship with age and sex. Each panel shows the personality scores of a specific dimension for all individuals in a scatterplot against age on the left, and on the right with bean plots showing the distribution of scores split by sex (females are on the left, males on the right). Relationships between age and each personality dimensions are illustrated in the figure supplements.

    However, in female chimpanzees the link was conditional, but generally they also appeared to live for longer when having a more open attitude to new experiences.

    The examined primates were located in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan. 

    "Because sociability and aggressiveness are associated with slower and faster life-history strategies, respectively, we expect that higher extraversion and agreeableness will be related to longer life," the authors explained.

    The study suggested that both ape and human agreeableness evolved through individuals who were able to achieve higher fitness by living longer.

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