William G. Gilroy | September 14, 2014
Both scientific research and our own personal experiences have revealed that the strength and quality of a person’s social relationships can affect their health and lifespan. Now a new collaborative study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame, Duke University and Princeton University has discovered that social interconnectedness also matters for survival in wild female baboons. And the findings may also be applicable to other social mammals.
Elizabeth Archie, Clare Booth Luce Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Notre Dame, and colleagues used an incredibly rich data set on the social relationships of wild baboons which was collected on an almost daily basis, year-round, since 1984 by the Amboseli Baboon Research Project. The project, which Archie helps direct, is a long-term study of wild baboons that follows the lives of individual baboons, watching what they do and who they interact with.