Being male may have its advantages, but longevity isn’t one of them.
Males throughout the animal kingdom tend to live shorter lives than females. The discrepancy stems from the intense competition between males to fertilise females, which inclines them towards a rather unsustainable all-or-nothing life strategy involving fights to the death and flamboyant, energy-sapping displays.
A recent study of African killifish showed that the gaudy males turn the heads not only of females, but predators, too, to the point that males comprise only about 30 per cent of the population.
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