The first mammals evolved during the age of the dinosaur, about 190 million years ago. However, it wasn’t until 2023 that longevity researchers determined social habits and life spans are evolutionarily entwined in mammals. In other words, people (and other mammals) that live in groups may live longer.
The study was a comparative analysis of approximately 1,000 mammals in three states of social organization – solitary, pair-living, and group living – and their longevity.
For example, group living mammals include horses, whales, chimpanzees, elephants, and many species of bats – just to name a few. And, of course, humans. Solitary animals include aardvarks, some chipmunks, weasels, and hedgehogs. Pair-living mammals are rare, but examples include marmots, meerkats, and some lemurs.
And the Longevity Winner Is
When researchers looked at the 3 study groups along with data about their longevity they found that group-living mammals live approximately 22 years as compared to solitary mammals at 12 years.
Considerations such as size were taken into account in the study. However, the effect of social bonds remained a factor regardless. For example, when similarly tiny mammals, specifically shrews and bats, were compared, the shrews live only a few years while some bat species can live 30 – 40 years.
Pros and Cons
The researchers noted that pros and cons of group living exist, but that the pros seemed to win across the board. Some of the cons include potential competition for mating partners and food. Pros include banding together for protection against predators and reduced risk of starvation with more hands involved in food gathering. Additionally, group living allows for a species to aid in the survival of their family, thus allowing their genes to carry on.
At 100 Year Lifestyle we have long acknowledged that no one wants to grow old alone. Now, science tells us that trying to grow old alone may not even be feasible. Every person, every mammal, on earth needs a surround sound support system.
That’s a network of people that covers all of your bases of social needs. People in your life who support you in pursuing the quality of life that you desire, help you reach your full potential and goals, and stick with you through tough times. It’s not really a good idea as much as an integral part of your healthy longevity, living at 100% for 100 years or more.
If you could use more surround sound support, why not add a 100 Year Lifestyle chiropractor to your team! They will work with you to make sure your life is long – and healthy! Find one near you to help you on your journey!