Females of a little-known primate from the rainforests of Madagascar have been known to outlive their male peers by many years, despite no obvious differences in hormone levels or lifestyle. A team led by a UA anthropologist has found the likely answer to the mystery.
Researchers studying aging in an endangered lemur species report that in old age, females are the safer sex: They live much longer than their male peers.
Females tend to outlive males in many animals, including humans. But in the Milne-Edwards’ sifaka – a rainforest-dweller with orange-red eyes, a black face and woolly dark brown fur – the sexes didn’t seem to differ in any of the ways thought to give females a survival advantage in other animals. (more…)