UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Have snow monkeys in Japan found the key to destressing?
Well, new research suggests maybe.
According to a recent study, snow monkeys or Japanese macaques in Nagano Prefecture’s Jigokudani valley reduced their levels of a stress hormone by taking dips in natural hot springs.
A team of researchers found that monkeys that took a soak at least once a week during the winter had lower amounts of glucocorticoid in their system compared to those that did not partake in the bathing.
The team also found the snow monkeys tended to bath more during cold spells.
The study’s lead author Rafaela Takeshita said, “This unique habit of hot spring bathing by snow monkeys illustrates how behavioral flexibility can help counter cold-climate stress, with likely implications for reproduction and survival.”
Details of the study were published April 3 in the journal Primates.