Do all animals undergo adolescence?

Trying again on our teenage years typically elicits a grimace — it is an ungainly time, filled with social fake pas, uncertainty and zits — but it surely’s one which all of us should cross via on our approach to maturity. 

However do different animals additionally expertise adolescence? This era of life contains each physiological and social adjustments. Unquestionably, different animals expertise puberty, the cascade of hormonal and physiological adjustments that allow mating. However researchers resembling Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, a heart specialist and evolutionary biologist on the College of California, Los Angeles, and Harvard College, argue that almost all, if not all, animals expertise a interval of adolescence too — what Natterson-Horowitz calls “wildhood” — that additionally consists of the social shifts that kids should navigate as they transition into maturity.

Years allotted to adolescence within the life historical past of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in contrast with three extensively studied mannequin species: Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus) and laboratory mice (Mus musculus). (Picture credit score: Reddy et al. (2022))

For a very long time, adolescence was regarded as distinctive to people, Natterson-Horowitz informed Reside Science. “However the extra you peel that again, the extra you discover that whereas there are specific facets of adolescence which might be uniquely human, that interval of transition that begins with the onset of puberty and ends when a mature grownup emerges — that is common.”

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