Close bonds with the opposite sex can have non-romantic benefits. And not just for people, but for our primate cousins, too.
Drawing on 35 years of data, a new study of more than 540 baboons in Amboseli National Park in Kenya finds that male baboons that have close female friends have higher rates of survival than those who don’t.
Researchers have often assumed that when a male is friendlier to certain females, it’s for the reproductive perks: to better protect his offspring, or to boost his chances of mating with her. But the new study points to an additional potential benefit: female friends may help him live a longer life.
The team’s findings will appear Sept. 21 in a special issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
It’s well known that people who have close friendships are more likely to live a long life than