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Wildlife Biology: Life at the Top: Animals Pay the High Price of Dominance

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Science  19 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5247, pp. 292
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5247.292


In the wild, dominant animals stress out their subordinates, according to textbook studies. But recent studies show the top dogs—as well as top dwarf mongooses, baboons, and other animals—have the highest levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. And habitually high cortisol levels may cost them years off their lives.