Bonobo infants find the arrival of a new sibling stressful

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Cortisol levels in bonobo infants jumped fivefold when they got a younger sibling and stayed high for 7 months, suggesting they found it extremely stressful



Life



4 March 2022

pics of mother/infant bonobos supplied by the study authors

A young bonobo and her mother

Sean M. Lee/George Washington University

Bonobo infants become highly stressed when they get a younger sibling and they don’t recover for seven months, according to a study that monitored levels of a stress marker in their urine.

In humans, many firstborn children struggle with the arrival of a sibling because “they’ve lived in a world where they have pretty unlimited access to parental time and attention, and now they’re having to share it”, says Matthew Sanders at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

To explore whether …

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