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Extrovert Gorillas May Live Longer

Dec 06, 2012 05:26 AM EST

Gorillas with an extrovert personality could have a longer life span than introvert gorillas, reveals a new study.

A team of international researchers led by the University of Edinburgh, U.K., studied around 298 gorillas in zoos and sanctuaries for 18 years across the U.S. between the years 1993 and 2011. During this time, at least 119 gorillas between the age group of two and fifty five died, reports Daily Mail.

Volunteers and zoo keepers who knew the gorillas well were asked to rate four personality traits of the gorillas - dominance, extroversion, neuroticism and agreeableness. They used similar methods that are used to determine human personalities.

The research team found that extroversion was connected to the life span of the gorillas. Gorillas that were socially active, playful and curious lived longer than gorillas that were introverts.

Extrovert gorillas lived more than 30 percent longer than the more introvert gorillas, the Daily Mail report states.

Factors like age, gender, rearing condition of the gorillas, how many times they moved to another location did not affect the link between extroversion and lifespan.

Researcher Alex Weiss, from the University of Edinburgh, said that the results of the study are consistent with studies in humans, which suggest that extroverts live longer.

"These findings highlight how understanding the natural history of personality is vital to insuring the continued health and well-being of humans, gorillas and other great apes," Weiss said in a statement.

The findings of the study, "Extraversion predicts longer survival in gorillas: an 18-year longitudinal study," are published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B

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