Even Great Apes Have Midlife Crises

NEW YORK (November 19, 2012)—A new report says chimpanzees and orangutans have midlife crises, too.

Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick in England, who reported the findings, says that suggests that humans may inherit that midlife period of discontent through evolution, rather than as a result of the pressure of jobs, mortgages and marriages, all of which great apes don’t have.

To do the study, researchers assessed the moods of more than 500 apes in zoos and other facilities around the world.

The results showed that on average, the mood of the apes over their lifetimes descended to a low point around midlife before rising again, which is comparable to the pattern seen in people.

The work appeared in Monday's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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