As with humans, for baboons making and keeping friends can lead to a longer and healthier life. In addition, some baboons are better at this than others.
Researchers observed females for seven years in their natural habitat. Observations included the baboon’s aggression toward others, number of grooming partners and its reproductive and fitness benefits.
They were then categorised into three character profiles: “nice”, “aloof” and “loner”. Loners - often alone and unfriendly - had the highest stress levels, shorter life spans and a lower offspring survival rate. Both nice and aloof females possessed health benefits associated with a strong social life.