Chimpanzees, the midlife crisis and us


Feeling melancholic? Unfulfilled? Wondering where the years went and what it all means? Good chance you're a middle-aged primate. Chimps may not seek out sports cars or date mates half their age, but apparently they get the same sort of middle age blues that seem to affect many people. We'll hear why a midlife crisis may really be a big hairy deal.

Chimpanzees, the midlife crisis and us - Researcher

It's a familiar theme in sitcoms and film ... but new research suggests the savannas of Africa and jungles of Sumatra are also criss-crossed with roads not travelled. Chimps and orangutans may also get middle-aged crazy.

Alex Weiss is a senior lecturer at University of Edinburgh and a member of the Scottish Primate Research Group. He co-authored a recent research paper that he says shows apes can experience a mid-life crisis. Alex joined us from Edinburgh. 

Chimpanzees, the midlife crisis and us - Sociologist

People suffering from mid-life crisis can choose to work out at the gym, volunteer, or find a hobby. But  when it comes to lifestyle choices, depressed chimps have few natural selections. We heard from the host of CBC Radio's WireTap, Jonathan Goldstein reading the Guardian's version of a diary of a middle-aged chimp.

Our next guest isn't convinced these late life dips in well-being are coded into our shared biology. Deborah Carr is a professor of Sociology at Rutgers University. She was in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

This segment was produced by The Current's Jessica DeMello and Shannon Higgins.

Other segment from today's show:

Alberta's health care queue jumping inquiry

 Laurence Kotlikoff: Is the United States Broke?

Comments are closed.