Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Orphaned Baby Chimps Suffer Lasting Social Effects

by Lindsay Dodgson, Live Science Contributor | January 13, 2016 10:27am ET

Being orphaned as a baby may have a bigger impact on chimpanzees than was previously thought, a new study finds. Scientists found that when infant chimpanzees were taken from their parents, the chimps groomed fellow animals considerably less in later life.

A team of Austrian and Dutch researchers observed chimpanzees that had been caged by themselves for decades in biomedical labs; the scientists also observed individuals that had been orphaned but grew up socially in a zoo community. The researchers already knew that the social behaviors of former lab chimpanzees differ based on the age they were taken away from their mothers, so the scientists wanted to compare these effects with chimps that were orphaned but reared around other animals in a zoo.

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