Science Stats

Fly more, live longer

Examination reveals that the most important factor linked to longer life is the ability to fly

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12:51pm, May 16, 2014

GIVE ME WINGS  Bigger animals tend to live longer than smaller ones, but flying species tend to outlive others of their size (select examples shown).

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Larger animals tend to live longer than smaller ones, but a new study finds some interesting exceptions to the rule. Some species live far longer than expected based on their size, and an examination of their lifestyles reveals that the most important factor linked to longer life is the ability to fly.

Many birds and bats have long lives for their size, but the effect depends on what time of day the animals are active. Being nocturnal or diurnal gives the biggest life span boost compared with being active at dawn and dusk, when more predators may be out. 

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