Great Apes Also Get the Mid-Life Crisis

New research shows getting older is not so great for apes either.
1:52 | 11/20/12

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Transcript for Great Apes Also Get the Mid-Life Crisis
completely okay. I'll say it. It's completely bananas. Science -- science showing that getting older isn't always so great. Wow. What a news headline. And that just like humans, apes can experience a midlife crisis. Abc's rob nelson has the story. Reporter: It turns out, chimps, gorillas, even orangutans, have midlife crises, too. A new study says, just like humans, great apes reach that point in their lives when perhaps they realize their silver backs really are turning gray. We have known for 20 years. Humans go in a "u" shape of happiness in their lives. Reporter: Scientists think they have. Researchers asked zoo keepers to judge how successful the apes they care for have been at achieving personal goals. En in, career designing moments like climbing a rope or reaching a prize tree. What we're measuring is their psychological well-being, the happiness of apes. That's at the low point in the middle of their lives. Reporter: It turns out that pattern looks suspiciously like the one for humans. Happy at the beginning and end of life. But feeling a little bananas at middle-age. Proveling that the midlife crisis isn't just an excuse to buy a new car. It is deeply biological. The good news, as we age, things get better for apes and humans. Chimp haven animals recently proved that, making headlines when one fathered a child very late in life. It may not be a convertible. But, hey. At least it's something. For "good morning america," rob nelson, abc news, new york.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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