How Humans and Baboons Deteriorate with Age

Baboons, similarly to humans, deteriorate physically and socially with age.

It is known that humans usually become weaker physically, as evidenced by humans typically losing their ability to walk as they age. Humans also decline socially, usually because they have fewer opportunities to get out into public, which usually leads to having fewer friends. In aging baboons, the physical and social decline is similar to that of aging humans. Specifically, baboons’ bodies also “break down” over time, becoming more feeble and less active. Since baboons have social classes, such as the Alpha Male, baboons, especially males, usually decline through the ranks of their society as they age because they can no longer keep up with all of the Alpha Male duties. It becomes increasingly evident, through research, that baboons decline physically and socially as they age, just as humans do.

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Baboons have ‘ranks,’ or social statuses, that increases as the baboons grows to adulthood. However, baboons will almost always fall through the ranks as they get older. As they age, baboons are not able to physically keep up with the stress and responsibilities of being the Alpha. They are also not able to physically best the younger baboons, and therefore, they decrease in rank. Though they still are able to reproduce in their old age, they will find less mates and companions as their rank diminishes. Female baboons also have ranks, but their ranks are determined when they are born, and typically remain the same throughout their life. Older females also have many sexual opportunities due to their constant high rank, which will allow them to reproduce into old age. Females can have many children, but older baboons usually reproduce more quickly than younger baboons, as evidenced by the shorter timespans between births as female baboons age.

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As baboons grow older, they begin to deteriorate physically and socially, similarly to humans. This information can be used to help scientists learn more about what happens to humans as they age. Humans and baboons become less social as they lose chances to socialize, which can lead to a less involved social life. Humans and Baboons also become less physically able as their body starts to become weaker, causing them to not be able to complete as many duties as other, younger baboons can. Baboons, especially males, tend to decline through the ranks of their group and society.

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By:Wesley Austin, Jason Lee, and Yanni Samoilis

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