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A Happy Life Is a Long One for Orangutans

Published: June 29, 2011.
By Society for Experimental Biology

New research has shown that happier orang-utans live longer which may shed light on the evolution of happiness in humans.

Dr. Alexander Weiss and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Arizona, who are presenting their paper published in Royal Society journal Biology Letters at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Conference in Glasgow on Sunday the 3rd of July, used an innovative approach to assessing happiness by asking keepers who work with orang-utans to answer questions on the animals' behalf.

The Evolution of Happiness

These results could shed light on how happiness evolved, not just in orang-utans but all primates, including ourselves. " The next step for scientists in understanding the importance of happiness in the lives of orang-utans will be to assess whether happiness and health are governed by the same genes.

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