Being on top is srsly stressful!
A recent report on five troops of wild baboons in Kenya studied over nine years found that alpha males showed very high stress levels, as high as those of the lowest-ranking males.
The stress, they suggested, was probably because of the demands of fighting off challengers and guarding access to fertile females. Mo'money mo'problems, right?
Beta males, who fought less and had considerably less mate guarding to do, had much lower stress levels. They had fewer mating opportunities than the alphas, but they did get some mating in, more than any lower-ranking males.
After all, when the alpha gets in another baboon bar fight, who’s going to take the girl home?
What we learned here: being lazy makes you happy!
[Image via WENN.]