Evolution of the Social Brain

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Science  14 Nov 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5648, pp. 1160-1161
DOI: 10.1126/science.1092116

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Why are monkeys, apes and humans such social animals and how did we get that way? As Dunbar describes in his Perspective, such questions have puzzled primatologists for decades. Two new studies in baboons provide some answers by demonstrating that the tighter the social bonds of female baboons the greater is their reproductive fitness ( Silk et al.), and that female baboons are able to simultaneously assess the rank and kinship of other baboon females ( Bergman et al .).