AR-News: (US) Baboons Excel at Assessing Rank and Family, Study Says

Animalara2003 at Animalara2003 at
Fri Mar 5 18:03:54 EST 2004

Bijal P. Trivedi
National Geographic Channel
March 5, 2004

Humans have an inherent ability to size up other members of their species. In 
a matter of minutes they assess personal attributes, like social status, and 
categorize one another into particular groups—family, race, or caste. Baboons, 
as it happens, can do much the same thing. 
A recent report from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania suggests 
that baboons classify individuals based on rank and kinship and use this 
information to evaluate social interactions. The cognitive skills that allow both 
humans and baboons to think about social relationships could be useful for 

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