There comes a time in some men's lives
when the days seem darker, mortality more certain, and the only sensible response is to blow the life savings on a sportscar.
Radical and often ill-advised changes in lifestyle have become the calling cards of the midlife crisis, but if it is more than a myth, then humans may not be the only animals to experience it.
Now an international team of scientists claims to have found evidence for a slump in wellbeing among middle-aged chimpanzees and orangutans. The lull in happiness in the middle years, they say, is the great ape equivalent of the midlife crisis.
The study, which was published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has raised eyebrows among some scientists, but according to the authors, the findings suggest that the midlife crisis may have its roots in the biology humans share with our closest evolutionary cousins.