Study Finds That Female Mammals Live Longer Than Males in the Animal World

Multiple studies in the past have shown that women tend to live 8% longer than men all across the human population. As it turns out, this is also the case among other mammals.

A recent study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that in the animal world, female mammals live longer than male mammals as well. As part of the study, the research team, comprised out of scientists from the UK, Denmark, Germany, Turkey, and Hungary, examined the life-span of 134 mammal populations and 101 species.

They found that in 60 percent of the species, the females lived longer than males. The difference in the animal world is even bigger than in the human world, as the females outlived the males by 18.6%.

“We’ve known for a long time that women generally live longer than men but were surprised to find that the [difference] in lifespan between the sexes was even more pronounced in wild mammals than in humans,” said evolutionary biologist Tamás Székely from the University of Bath in the UK.

There are several factors that cause the males to have a shorter life-span, but according to Dr. Jean-Francois Lemaître from the University of Lyon, “environmental conditions and sex-specific genetic variations” have the most influence on life expectancy.

According to the study, the difference in behavior among sexes is another element that causes females to live longer than males. For example, female lions live together and help each other while male lions are loners and don’t have similar support. 

The research team also found that life expectancy doesn’t change with age, as both males and females face a similar risk of dying as they grow older.