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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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Wildlife presenter to deliver keynote speech at BVA Congress

News Story 1
 The BVA has confirmed wildlife presenter Mike Dilger will deliver the keynote speech at this yearís congress. Mike is known as ĎBritainís most diseased maní, having contracted a number of exotic diseases on his travels, including malaria, bilharzia and leishmaniasis. His talk, ĎMy diseases and other animalsí, promises to be an amusing and inspiring lecture on his travels in the tropics and his thoughts on how the mass media is influencing human engagement with wildlife and nature. The lecture will take place at 1pm on 16 November, in the BVA Congress Theatre at Londonís ExCeL. 

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