Old monkeys are not looking for new friends

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Animals

Old monkeys are not looking for new friends

Barbary apes are the findings with age, always be selective in their social contacts – as new. This also allows for new conclusions on the behavior of the people.

Have decoupled the young Monkeys of the parents, discover the world

An English proverb says: “Old dogs don’t learn new tricks” (“Old dogs learn no new Tricks.”). And many, Mr Chen and Mrs Chen can report from personal experience that your best friends will react, at the latest, in the middle age of about nine years, very much more relaxed on new faces or also the visit of the postman, as even in his younger years.

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Conduct experiments on 118 animals

Scientists of the German Primate center (DPZ) in Göttingen and the University of Zurich have shown that such changes in behaviour now both in the scientific APE: the Older primates focus on the social contacts that are really important to you. A research team led by monkey researcher Prof. Julia Fischer published the results of behavioral experiments on the 23. June 2016 in the journal “Current Biology.” Fischer directs the Department of cognitive ethology in the PDZ .

The scientists had observed 118 Barbary apes at the age of 4 to 29 years of age in a French monkey Park, and various behavioral experiments. The result: monkeys with age voters. Already in young adulthood have a significantly lower interest in new objects and less well-known congeners.

DPZ-a behavioural biologist Laura Almeling said, this is particularly evident in the mutual fur-care: “This is in the case of the monkeys, the measure of the social relationship.” While the young animals change very often, their care partners, limited old monkey on a smaller and smaller circle of friendly animals.

Older Berber monkeys prefer to stick to those they know well – especially in the grooming

Also people lose the desire to in New

“The older Berber monkeys do not lose interest in each other,” said the researcher. “You focus on a smaller group.” The monkeys are. with increasing age, even more cautious in dealing with New and are less willing to take risks The fact they were older people similar. To cries for help from conspecifics, however, the animals respond to old age. The response to the cries of friendly monkeys, such as the best friend, however, was stronger.

To focus the energies of the age to a smaller group of social partners and to try out also otherwise hardly New, is also from the people already known for a long time. Apparently, this behavior was rooted deep in Evolution than previously thought. The social network of people in old age become smaller, says Almeling. “You maintain then, first of all relations to the people who are really important to them.”

What is it?

Now, the biologists will discuss the reasons for this change in behavior. Previously, researchers had assumed that it could end in people not only with a decrease in the vitality, but also to do with the awareness of one’s own finiteness.

In monkeys, this could not be, however, not the case, says Almeling. “Monkeys are not aware that their life time is limited.” Therefore, the behavior to take biologists that changes in the number of people in old age are firmly rooted in Evolution.

Maybe it has to do but just with growing experience and the wiser use of own power resources: What is the upset person or animal in the case of new things or energy to waste if you can already guess in advance how that will turn out in the end? Or why to engage in new social contacts, if the best friends they’re the most reliable?

fs/nm (dpa)