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Science File | IN BRIEF

Baboon Moms That Network Succeed More

November 15, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Baboon moms with lots of female friends are the most successful parents, according to a study that suggests social support is an essential part of being a baboon -- or a human.

The study, appearing this week in the journal Science, found that baboon mothers who formed networks of female friends were about a third more successful at raising their young to 1 year of age than were females who spent more time alone.

The baboons socialize by staying close together, grooming each other and forming tight coalitions against outside threats, according to Joan Silk, a UCLA professor and first author of the study.

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