Why do female seals live longer than males?

Introduction: The Seal Life Expectancy

Seals are captivating creatures that are popular for their playful and curious behavior. However, their life expectancy remains a mystery to many. Seals, like most mammals, have a finite lifespan, and it varies from one species to another. Factors such as genetics, environment, diet, and lifestyle can significantly impact their longevity. In this article, we will explore why female seals live longer than males.

Counting the Years: Life Span of Males and Females

On average, seals can live up to 25-30 years in the wild, but some species can survive up to 40 years. Interestingly, female seals tend to outlive their male counterparts by a considerable margin. For instance, a study conducted on grey seals found that the median lifespan of females was 35 years, while that of males was 23 years. This significant gender gap raises the question of what factors could be influencing this disparity.

The Masculine Lifestyle: The Risks of Being a Male Seal

One of the primary reasons why male seals have a shorter lifespan is their lifestyle. Male seals have a more challenging and riskier existence than females. They engage in fierce battles with other males for territory, access to mates, and resources, which can lead to injuries and death. They also face the constant threat of predation from orcas and sharks when hunting for food. Additionally, male seals tend to migrate more than females, exposing them to harsher conditions, such as storms and ocean currents. All these factors can take a toll on their physical health and increase their mortality rates.

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