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Slow Pace of Life May Be The Secret To Longevity

Update Date: Nov 18, 2014 07:41 AM EST

Frenzied pace of the modern 24-hour lifestyle is damaging to our health, according to a new study. Reptiles that have their life in a slow lane, live longer, the study added.`Secret,

Reduced reproductive rates and a plant-rich diet increases the lifespan of reptiles. 

The international team collected literature on 1,014 species of reptiles (including 672 lizards and 336 snakes), a representative sample of the approximately 10,000 known reptiles on the planet, and examined their life history parameters: body size, earliest age at first reproduction, body temperature, reproductive modes, litter or clutch size and frequency, geographic distribution, and diet, according to the press release.

Researchers discovered early sexual maturation and a higher frequency of laying eggs or giving birth were associated with shortened longevity.

"There were aspects of this study that we were able to anticipate," said Prof. Shai Meiri, in the press release. "Reproduction, for example, comes at the price of great stress to the mother. She experience physiological stress, is unable to forage efficiently, and is more vulnerable to her surroundings. This reflects evolutionary logic. To relate this to humans, imagine the physical stress the body of an Olympic gymnast experiences -- and the first thing that disappears is her period. In reptiles, it also increases the probability of being preyed upon."

"We found that reptiles that were sexually mature early on were less likely to make it to old age," Prof. Meiri continued. "Live fast and die young, they say -- but live slow, live long.

The study was published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography. 

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