Affable chimpanzees more likely to live longer
London : Male chimps that are less aggressive and form strong social bonds tend to live longer than those who are less agreeable, research suggests.
The study, led by researchers from the University of Edinburgh in the UK, showed that male chimpanzees that get along well with others -- by being sensitive, protective and cooperative -- outlived their less amiable peers.
The team also found some evidence that female chimps who demonstrated openness -- those who more readily explored and adapted to changes in their physical and social environments -- were more likely to live longer.
"Studying the personality of chimps - one of our closest biological relatives - suggests that the quality of our social relationships can significantly impact our lives," said Drew Altschul, a post-doctoral student at the varsity.
The findings, published in eLife, suggest that links between personality and lifespan in people may not be entirely explained by inherent characteristics, but that lifestyle may play a greater part.
Using personality and survival data from 538 chimpanzees from the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Australia and Japan, the study tested the aspects of their personalities that were associated with longevity.
Contrary to studies of humans and other primates, being more extroverted, conscientious or neurotic had no impact on chimpanzee's longevity, the research showed.
Extraversion is frequently associated with longer life in other non-human primates, while conscientiousness and neuroticism are associated with longer and shorter life, respectively, in humans.