It feels a bit surreal to announce that our paper on age-based social selectivity in rhesus macaques is now out in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This paper has been several years in the making and we are thrilled that it is finally out in the world. In this paper we use longitudinal data from 204 macaques on the island of Cayo Santiago to show that females macaques show age-based changes in sociality that closely resemble patterns observed in humans. Specifically, we find that females actively narrow their networks as they get older and focus on important partners linked with fitness benefits including kin and 'friends' with whom they had strong and stable connections in previous years. Our findings offer the most conclusive evidence to date for social selectivity in a non-human animal and suggest that these patterns of social aging may have a common evolutionary driver in humans and other primates. You can find out more here by reading the open-access paper or check out this Twitter thread for a point-by-point summary!
Hi, I'm Erin. I'm a scientist and nature lover. I also love to write, and although I don't find much time for informal, creative writing lately, I will try to use this space to indulge that passion a little.