New study says in wild mammals the females live longer than males. The study was conducted at 101 species of wild mammals living in 134 different locations. The females lived longer than males in 60% cases. The difference between the lifespan of males and females is 8%. The researchers say the difference is due to a combination of sex-specific traits and local environmental factors.
In humans too women live longer than men. This is a consistent pattern based on the records from 18th century. Though the assumption was held for animals the data was lacking.
Dr Jean-Francois Lemaître, from the University of Lyon, France cited the example of bighorn sheep. He said, “Male bighorn sheep use lots of resources towards sexual competition, towards the growth of a large body mass, and they might be more sensitive to environmental conditions. So clearly the magnitude of the difference in lifespan is due to the interaction of these sex-specific genetics.”
The increased lifespan of females didn’t mean that risks of dying are increasing more in males than females as they get older. The rate of mortality is about the same in both sexes as they age.