Close Social Ties Make Baboons Better Mothers

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Close Social Ties Make Baboons Better Mothers

Postby wolfhnd on June 11th, 2009, 9:03 pm 

Close Social Ties Make Baboons Better Mothers, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (June 11, 2009) — Baboons whose mothers have strong relationships with other females are much more likely to survive to adulthood than baboons reared by less social mothers, according to a new study by researchers at UCLA, the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions.

"If you're a baboon, the strength of your mother's relationship with other females is the best predictor of whether you'll live to have children yourself," said Joan Silk, the study's lead author and a UCLA professor of anthropology. "The study adds to mounting evidence of the biological benefits of close relationships among females."

The findings are significant because "survivorship to reproduction is the gold standard in evolutionary biology," said co-author Dorothy Cheney, a professor of biology at the University of Pennsylvania. "Females who raise offspring to a reproductive age are more likely see their genes pass along, so these findings demonstrate an evolutionary advantage to strong relationships with other females. In evolutionary terms, social moms are the fittest moms — at least when it comes to baboons." ... 091429.htm
Credit: Joan Silk

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