Researchers have found that female nasturtiums that have social networks with other female monkeys tend to live longer

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Many big-brained capuchin monkeys live in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, and hundreds of them were seen throughout the day by anthropology professors and field primatologists.

They found that female capuchin monkeys tend to live longer when they are better integrated into social networks with other adult females.

Giving and receiving care, seeking nearby food, and helping each other in conflict by fighting or displaying hostile body language are all examples of social interactions that are measured.

White-faced capuchin monkeys test their friendships through socially learned human behaviors.

Woman-to-woman relationships

(Photo: Sebastian Silva/Unsplash)


According to Susan Perry, a UCLA anthropology professor and field primatologist, “As humans, we assume that social connections have some value, but quantifying the success of our behavioral methods is incredibly difficult. “

To quantify this in humans and other animals takes a lot of work, according to ScienceDaily.

Perry has run the Lomas Barbudal Capuchin Monkey Project in Guanacaste, Costa Rica since 1990.

Here, his team of scientists record the daily activities of several big-brained monkeys.

Although the white-faced capuchin monkey is less related to humans than chimpanzees or orangutans, it has extremely complex social systems that affect behavior and are transmitted to others.

The most recent research, just published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, focused on the link between social integration and survival in female nasturtiums.

Based on 18 years of data, scientists studied how female monkeys interacted with males, females and friends of all genders and ages.

Under Perry’s guidance, lead author Kotrina Kajokaite earned her undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees at UCLA using data from the Monkey Project.

Their main finding was that adult female nasturtiums that assimilated better into networks of other adult females lived longer.

Giving and healing, searching nearby, and participating in coalition conflicts – intervening to support each other in conflicts by fighting, chasing each other, or making hostile sounds and facial expressions – were interactions that were counted. in research.

Regarding the types of behaviors tracked in this study, there was no evidence that heterosexual partnerships benefited women in terms of survival.

The potential that some adult women might benefit from social ties with one or more male partners who live with them for long periods of time, however, is undisputed.

Read also : Capuchin monkeys demonstrate evolutionary root of malicious behavior, researchers say

Through rituals, friendships are tested

Perry’s team saw white-faced capuchin monkeys engaged in socially learned human-like rituals in separate research that has been published in a specialist journal of the Royal Society, according to EurekAlert.

Interactions include sticking a finger in a social partner’s mouth, eye, nostril, or ear; open each other’s mouths or hands to examine their contents; gently pulling each other’s hands; and move objects from mouth to mouth.

Other rituals observed included covering part of the partner’s face with the hand, sucking on a partner’s appendage, and using the partner’s back or belly as a drum to make loud, rhythmic noises.

According to Perry, rituals are used to assess the strength of alliances and friendships and are most common among monkey couples who are unsure of their connection status at the moment.

Rituals are most often used by monkeys with a history of mostly friendly encounters, as well as couples who almost never interact.

While virtually all components of rituals as defined by anthropologists and psychologists are present in Capuchin rituals, they differ from human rituals in that they are not performed simultaneously by all members of a community.

According to Perry, the psychology behind the bond-testing behavior of nonhuman primates may have served as an evolutionary precursor to the more communal aspects of human ritual behavior.

Related article: Like ancient humans, capuchin monkeys also made stone tools

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