Thursday, 28 December 2017

Some monkeys prone to isolation

December 19, 2017, University of Exeter

Some individual animals are prone to social isolation, new research suggests.

The study of rhesus macaques showed some of the monkeys remain socially isolated for much of their lives, suggesting their isolation is caused by a persistent trait or traits.

The researchers - from the universities of Exeter, Puerto Rico and Pennsylvania - believe the cause is a mixture of their genes and other factors such as age, sex and family size.

Social isolation is linked to reduced life expectancy in many species, including humans.

"Understanding social isolation is really important, and studying macaques might give us clues about human behaviour," said Dr Lauren Brent, from the University of Exeter.

"Isolation is the latest epidemic among humans, and research has suggested it is as bad for us as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

"Given the benefits of social integration, we need to understand why some individual animals tend to be socially isolated."

The researchers measured integration by observing how much time macaques spent grooming others and being groomed - a key social behaviour for the species.

The factors that played a role in isolation were age, sex, social status, group size and how long a macaque had belonged to a social group.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails