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Personality links with lifespan in chimpanzees

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere33781
Pages (from-to)1-17
Early online date9 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Oct 2018


Social bonds and personality characteristics related to how individuals navigate their social and non-social environments are correlates of fitness and survival in humans and primates. Measurements of quantity, quality, and hierarchical asymmetry of social interactions have been linked to health and longevity in various primates, while in humans, non-social characteristics have also been implicated. In survival analyses of longitudinal data from 538 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), our closest living nonhuman relative, we found that two personality dimensions, agreeableness and openness, were related to longer life in males and females, respectively. Our results link the literature on human and nonhuman primate survival, and suggest that natural selection, after the divergence of hominins, favored the protective effects of high quality social bonds for males and exploratory behavior for females.

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