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Being Top Baboon is a Hard Life

It ain't easy bein' top dog. Or, for that matter, top monkey. Sure your underlings would pay to gaze at your pictures, but being alpha baboons come at a high price:

A new study, "Life at the Top: Rank and Stress in Wild Male Baboons," published in the July 15 issue of the journal Science found that in wild baboon populations, the highest-ranking, or alpha, males have higher stress-hormone levels than the highly ranked males below them, known as beta males -- even during periods of stability. The findings have implications in the study of social hierarchies and of the impact of social dominance on health and well-being, a subject of interest among researchers who study human and other animal populations.

Link (Photo: Jeanne Altmann)

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It's like being President. Look at photos of Presidents before election compared to after their terms are over. It ages you very quickly.
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