Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Live fast, die young: Long-lived mice are less active, biologists find

Date:
July 4, 2013
Source:
University of Zurich
Summary:
Female mice with a high life expectancy are less active and less explorative. They also eat less than their fellow females with a lower life expectancy. Behavioral biologists reveal that there is a correlation between longevity and personality for female house mice, and a minimum amount of boldness is necessary for them to survive. 

Female mice with greater life expectancy are less active and less explorative than their fellow females with lower life expectancy.
Credit: UZH

Female mice with a high life expectancy are less active and less explorative. They also eat less than their fellow females with a lower life expectancy. Behavioral biologists from the University of Zurich reveal that there is a correlation between longevity and personality for female house mice, and a minimum amount of boldness is necessary for them to survive.

Risky behavior can lead to premature death -- in humans. Anna Lindholm and her doctoral student Yannick Auclair investigated whether this also applies to animals by studying the behavior of 82 house mice. They recorded boldness, activity level, exploration tendency and energy intake of female and male house mice with two different allelic variants on chromosome 17, thereby testing predictions of "life-history theory" on how individuals invest optimally in growth and reproduction. According to this theory, individuals with a greater life expectancy will express reactive personality traits and will be shy, less active and less explorative than individuals with a lower survival expectation.

Is personality reflected in life expectancy?

Female mice of the t haplotype, one of the two genetic variants on chromosome 17, are known to live longer. The t haplotype in house mice is a naturally occurring selfish genetic element that is transmitted to 90 percent of the offspring by t carrying males. Embryos that inherit a t copy from both parents, however, die before birth. With his experiment, Yannick Auclair wanted to investigate whether there was a correlation between this selfish genetic element and the personality of the mice.

Live fast, die young -- even in mice

The researchers reveal that the longer-lived t haplotype females are less active than the shorter-lived non-carrier females. They also consume less food, are less explorative and thus express reactive personality traits favouring cautiousness and energy conservation, as predicted by theory. "For the first time, we report personality traits associated with a selfish genetic element that influences life expectancy" says Auclair. According to the research team, female mice with a longer life expectancy follow the strategy "live slow, die old" whereas those with a shorter life expectancy live according to the principle "live fast, die young."

In contrast to the predictions of the "life-history" theory, there are no extremely individuals among t haplotype female mice. The researchers suppose that selection does not favor mice that are too cautious. "In order for a mouse to find food and be able to reproduce, clearly a minimum level of boldness is required," explains Auclair. "In such a situation, large variation will not develop."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Zurich. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yannick Auclair, Barbara König, Anna K. Lindholm. A Selfish Genetic Element Influencing Longevity Correlates with Reactive Behavioural Traits in Female House Mice (Mus domesticus). PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (6): e67130 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067130

Cite This Page:

University of Zurich. "Live fast, die young: Long-lived mice are less active, biologists find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130704094624.htm>.
University of Zurich. (2013, July 4). Live fast, die young: Long-lived mice are less active, biologists find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130704094624.htm
University of Zurich. "Live fast, die young: Long-lived mice are less active, biologists find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130704094624.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) — Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins