The more energy a creature uses, the more free radicals and other unstable, cell-damaging molecules its body produces. In many cases this can shorten the lifespan of the animal, but in the case of some butterflies, the opposite seems to be true.
The scientists published their findings in The Journal of Experimental Biology¹.The Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) was studied by researchers, who measured its metabolic rates. They found that whether the butterflies were lab-bound or released to island meadows in Finland, the ones who flew more energetically lived longer. The findings indicate that there is a connection between oxidative stress, the long-term buildup of free radicals and other harmful molecules, and lifespan is more complex than previously thought.
(via Butterflies That Expend The Most Energy Live The Longest)
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