Tech UPTechnologyHappiness lengthens the life of orangutans

Happiness lengthens the life of orangutans


A study with 184 apes in captivity by researchers from the University of Arizona (USA) reveals thathappy orangutans live longer. The results are published in the journalBiology Letters.

To carry out the research, the scientists asked the caretakers of 184 orangutans to keep a record of when the animals were in a good or bad mood, when they enjoyed their social interactions the most, and whether they managed to achieve their goals. In addition, they invited them to assess whether they would describe them as “happy”. An analysis of the data revealed that those who scored highest in the happiness “ranking” were the most likely to be alive seven years later. The effect was observed regardless of sex and age.

The results could shed light onhow happiness evolved, not only in orangutans butin all primates, including humans. “We have shown that certain personality traits linked to happiness share the samegenetic basisin humans and chimpanzees “, explains Alexander Weiss, co-author of the study.” By relating these links in a greater number of species we could understand the evolutionary bases of happiness and depression, “he adds.

One of thetheoriesthat the experts consider is that thehappiness evolved by sexual selection– A happy individual is more attractive to the opposite sex because he will live longer. Weiss suggests by investigating the websites that help you find a partner, you could see if the people who define themselves as the happiest are also the most popular.

Although happiness had already been linked to increased life expectancy in humans, and now in orangutans, the biological basis is still unknown. One of the challenges, according to Weiss, is figuring out whether happiness and health in apes are controlled by the same genes.


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