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Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The 'mid-life crises' of monkeys

Chimps and great apes display signs of a so-called mid life crisis, much the same as humans, a study shows.

The study of 336 chimpanzees and 172 orangutans, published in the Lancet, found they experienced a U-shaped pattern of well-being across their lifespan, with a low-point in mid-life similar to that previously reported in humans.

Alexander Weiss from University of Edinburgh led the research.

Speaking to the Today programme, he said: "We asked people who worked at zoos and interacted with chimpanzees and orangutans, and had them complete a survey which is designed to assess their wellbeing.

"When we looked at the association between age on the one hand and the responses on the other hand, we found that there was a gradual decline up until around mid-life."

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