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Amiable male chimps live longer, study finds
“Studying the personality of chimps – one of our closest biological relatives – suggests that the quality of our social relationships can significantly impact our lives.” 

Social relationships ‘can significantly impact our lives’

Male chimps that get along well with others tend to live longer than their less amiable peers, according to new research.

A team of international scientists studied more than 500 captive chimpanzees to find out which aspects of personality are associated with longevity.

Personality and survival data indicates that evolution has favoured more affable males. Those who formed strong social bonds by being sensitive, protective and co-operative, outlived their more aggressive counterparts.

Researchers also found that female chimps that demonstrated openness - that is, those that exposed and adapted to change more readily - were more likely to live longer.

Contrary to studies on humans and other primates, being more extroverted, conscientious or neurotic had no impact on chimp longevity.

Extroversion is often associated with longer life in other non-human primates, while in humans, conscientiousness and neuroticism are linked with longer and shorter lifespans respectively.

These findings, which were published in eLife, suggest that links between personality and lifespan in humans may not be entirely explained by inherent characteristics - but lifestyle may play a greater role.

Drew Altschul, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh, commented: “Studying the personality of chimps – one of our closest biological relatives – suggests that the quality of our social relationships can significantly impact our lives.” 

Image © Lincoln Park Zoo

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.