Baboon Study Reveals Surprises, Breaks Ground in Tracking Behavior

By Jeffrey Day - Baboons live in a strongly hierarchical society, but the big guys don't make all the decisions.

A new study from the University of California, Davis, reveals -- through GPS tracking -- that animals living in complex, stratified societies make some decisions democratically. The study breaks ground in how animal behavior data is collected. The study is being published Friday (June 19) in Science.

"It's not necessarily the biggest alpha males that influence where groups go," said co-author Meg Crofoot, assistant professor of anthropology at UC Davis. "Our results illustrate an important distinction between social status and leadership, and show that democratic decision-making takes place even in highly stratified societies.

Read the full story at UC Davis News Service.