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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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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”