What determines the life span of an animal species? Why does a wolf only live for 10 years but a tortoise can live for 100?

232 views

What determines the life span of an animal species? Why does a wolf only live for 10 years but a tortoise can live for 100?

In: Biology

Each creature evolves to have the lifespan which is most efficient in its particular ecologic niche. Living longer isn’t necessarily “fitter”.

There are a variety of reasons. One important one is metabolism. Flies have a very “quick” metabolism. They live fast, need lots of energy, fly around real fast, and die young. They burn fast and bright like a cigarette. Turtles have a much slower metabolism. The speed at which they metabolize food and do other processes is slower. They walk slower. Digest slower. Grow slower. Die older. Like a slow burning cigar. In the eyes of nature, as long as the fly and turtle reproduce, then their lives were equally successful despite the vast difference in lifespan.