Send to

Choose Destination

See 1 citation found by title matching your search:

Biol Lett. 2011 Dec 23;7(6):872-4. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0543. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Happy orang-utans live longer lives.

Author information

Department of Psychology, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.


Nonhuman primate ageing resembles its human counterpart. Moreover, ratings of subjective well-being traits in chimpanzees, orang-utans and rhesus macaques are similar to those of humans: they are intercorrelated, heritable, and phenotypically and genetically related to personality. We examined whether, as in humans, orang-utan subjective well-being was related to longer life. The sample included 184 zoo-housed orang-utans followed up for approximately 7 years. Age, sex, species and number of transfers were available for all subjects and 172 subjects were rated on at least one item of a subjective well-being scale. Of the 31 orang-utans that died, 25 died a mean of 3.4 years after being rated. Even in a model that included, and therefore, statistically adjusted for, sex, age, species and transfers, orang-utans rated as being "happier" lived longer. The risk differential between orang-utans that were one standard deviation above and one standard deviation below baseline in subjective well-being was comparable with approximately 11 years in age. This finding suggests that impressions of the subjective well-being of captive great apes are valid indicators of their welfare and longevity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center