High-ranking monkeys are more prone to gain weight in captivity

Captive macaques with a higher social rank tend to get more overweight, even though they don’t appear to consume more calories

Life 10 October 2022

A captive monkey scooping up water with a leaf

A macaque from the study group at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in Rijswijk, the Netherlands


Dominant macaques in captivity get more overweight than lower-ranking members of their group – without appearing to consume more calories.

The findings suggest that the greatest risk for obesity in these captive primates isn’t how much they eat, nor how much exercise they get, but how high they rank on the social scale, says Dian Zijlmans at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

“The idea was to find behaviours we should target to… make them …

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