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Beneficial effect of hot spring bathing on stress levels in Japanese macaques

Overview of attention for article published in Primates, April 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#3 of 619)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (94th percentile)

Mentioned by

49 news outlets
6 blogs
90 tweeters
10 Facebook pages


6 Dimensions

Readers on

27 Mendeley
Beneficial effect of hot spring bathing on stress levels in Japanese macaques
Published in
Primates, April 2018
DOI 10.1007/s10329-018-0655-x
Pubmed ID

Rafaela S. C. Takeshita, Fred B. Bercovitch, Kodzue Kinoshita, Michael A. Huffman


The ability of animals to survive dramatic climates depends on their physiology, morphology and behaviour, but is often influenced by the configuration of their habitat. Along with autonomic responses, thermoregulatory behaviours, including postural adjustments, social aggregation, and use of trees for shelter, help individuals maintain homeostasis across climate variations. Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) are the world's most northerly species of nonhuman primates and have adapted to extremely cold environments. Given that thermoregulatory stress can increase glucocorticoid concentrations in primates, we hypothesized that by using an available hot spring, Japanese macaques could gain protection against weather-induced cold stress during winter. We studied 12 adult female Japanese macaques living in Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan, during the spring birth season (April to June) and winter mating season (October to December). We collected faecal samples for determination of faecal glucocorticoid (fGC) metabolite concentrations by enzyme immunoassay, as well as behavioural data to determine time spent in the hot springs, dominance rank, aggression rates, and affiliative behaviours. We used nonparametric statistics to examine seasonal changes in hot spring bathing, and the relationship between rank and air temperature on hot spring bathing. We used general linear mixed-effect models to examine factors impacting hormone concentrations. We found that Japanese macaques use hot spring bathing for thermoregulation during the winter. In the studied troop, the single hot spring is a restricted resource favoured by dominant females. High social rank had both costs and benefits: dominant females sustained high fGC levels, which were associated with high aggression rates in winter, but benefited by priority of access to the hot spring, which was associated with low fGC concentrations and therefore might help reduce energy expenditure and subsequent body heat loss. This unique habit of hot spring bathing by Japanese macaques illustrates how behavioural flexibility can help counter cold climate stress, with likely implications for reproduction and survival.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 90 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 27 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 27 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 8 30%
Student > Ph. D. Student 6 22%
Student > Master 5 19%
Student > Bachelor 3 11%
Professor > Associate Professor 2 7%
Other 3 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 11 41%
Unspecified 4 15%
Psychology 3 11%
Social Sciences 3 11%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 1 4%
Other 5 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 487. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 16 November 2018.
All research outputs
of 13,224,272 outputs
Outputs from Primates
of 619 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 270,010 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Primates
of 18 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,224,272 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 619 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 15.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 270,010 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 18 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.