Older male chimps follow a pattern that researchers also see in humans, preferring to have positive relationships with a few good friends.
The overpass juts from a forest over a four-lane highway in a rural area outside Rio de Janeiro. It’s meant for a very special sort of pedestrian: golden lion tamarins, small orange primates that for decades have been at risk of extinction.
Drawing on 35 years of data, a new study of more than 540 baboons in Amboseli National Park in Kenya finds that male baboons that have close female friends have higher rates of survival than those who don’t.
As the consequences of climate change bear down on all species today, flexible behavior in chimpanzees may be more necessary than ever and their past may be their best defense in an uncertain future.
Our study shows that a mother’s presence and support throughout the prolonged childhood years was also likely a trait in the last common ancestor that humans shared with chimpanzees six to eight million years ago. This trait is likely to have been fundamental in shaping both chimpanzee and human evolution”.