Females often responsible for mob behavior among Tibetan Macaques

Animal behavior researchers have discovered that unplanned mobs among  Tibetan Macaques are often led  by a hierarchy of strong females.

Zoologists from Central Washington University observed 20 adult Tibetan Macaques at  Mt. Huangshan in Anhui province over the course of two months.

During that time they witnessed 128 collective movements, events outside the social norm such as creating a spontaneous crowd or heightened emotions among  a group; for humans, behaviors such as  riots or mass buying.

An unexpectedly large number of the observed collective movement were led by the highest-ranking female, followed by young females, their report said.

The Tibetan Macaque is one of the largest monkeys found in Asia. They are known for their complex social structure and gender-based hierarchy.

Outside of such phenomena, larger  Alpha males tend to have better access to resources. However,  clustering of social circles among the group tended to center around different female Macaques, the report  said.

“Certain individuals tend to move with one female or the other,” the report, Leadership in the Collective Movements of Tibetan Macaques (Macaca thibetana) at Mt. Huangshan, China, said.

The study was presented during the Symposium Of University Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) on May 5.

Chinese seniors unable to complete daily chores more likely to commit suicide

Disabled Chinese elders unable to perform daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning are three times more likely to commit suicide, a  recent study has found.

While tradition dictates that Chinese children should take care of their aging parents, lack of pensions  and the one-child policy have placed impossible expectations for children to provide both care and finances for parents.

Compounded by a lack of proffessional care facilities, senior citizens are increasingly being left to tend to themselves in daily life.

A study by the Department of Health Services Management at Second Military Medical University investigated daily life and disability as it relates to suicide for 8399 residents aged 60 or more across 15 communities in Shanghai .

They found the suicide rate among those observed was .75% and was often pre-empted by disability in performing daily tasks.

Using the  Lawton instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) scale to determine different levels of disability for the sample, they found seniors unable to  use public transport, prepare meals, go shopping,  perform housekeeping or do laundry were almost three times more likely to commit suicide.

“The presence of at least one such disability was associated with an almost threefold increase in the attempted suicide rate,” it said.

Those unable to perform five or more of the tasks were five times more likely.

“Specific IADL disabilities, such as preparing meals or dealing with medical care, may be significant predictive factors for risk of suicidal attempts among the elderly,” the study,Does disability predict attempted suicide in the elderly? A community-based study of elderly residents in Shanghai, China,  said.

“Therefore, elderly people with certain disabilities should be considered for suicide prevention interventions and should be supported in IADL as much as possible.”

It was published online by Crossmark on April 18.