What Baboons Can Teach Us About Social Status
A new study by University of Notre Dame biologist Beth Archie and colleagues from Princeton and Duke Universities finds that high-ranking male baboons recover more quickly from injuries and are less likely to become ill than other males. Archie, Jeanne Altmann of Princeton and Susan Alberts of Duke examined health records from the Amboseli Baboon Research Project in Kenya. They found that high rank is associated with faster wound healing. The finding is somewhat surprising, given that top-ranked males also experience high stress, which should suppress immune responses. They also found that social status is a better predictor of wound healing than age.