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Journal Articles Journal of Mammalian Evolution Year : 2020

Do Equids Live longer than Grazing Bovids?

Abstract

A large part of the diversity of longevity and actuarial senescence (i.e. the progressive decline of survival probabilities with age) across vertebrates can be related to body size, phylogeny and the species' position on the slow-fast continuum of life histories. However, differences in mortality patterns between ecologically similar species, such as bovids and equids, remain poorly understood. Equids are commonly understood to outlive bovid species relative to their body mass, despite very similar feeding niches. Comparing survival patterns of 13 bovid and 10 equid sub-species, our findings confirm that equids outlive bovid species, with a higher adult survival rate and a delayed onset of senescence for equids, but no difference of rate of actuarial senescence. These differences are associated with a slower generation time and longer inter-birth interval, due to a longer gestation period, for equids compared to bovids. Finally, our results suggest that all biological times (i.e. all life history traits expressed in time units) have evolved synchronously in bovids, whereas in equids gestation time and inter-birth interval either were never in synchrony with, or have slowed down relative to other biological times. Our findings suggest the existence of different selection pressures, or different constraints, on specific time-related traits between these two mammalian orders.
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Dates and versions

hal-03060300 , version 1 (15-12-2020)

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Morgane Tidière, Patrick Duncan, Jean-François Lemaître Lemaître, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Laurie Bingaman Lackey, et al.. Do Equids Live longer than Grazing Bovids?. Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 2020, 27 (4), pp.809-816. ⟨10.1007/s10914-019-09483-8⟩. ⟨hal-03060300⟩
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