Newborn female mice live longer if they smell the urine of older females

The smell of older females causes young female mice to reach puberty later and prolong their lifespan – the first known case of the smell affecting the lifespan of mammals, although males are unaffected


November 24, 2022

Young mice and mother

A mother mouse and her baby

Juniors Bildarchiv GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Newborn female mice that sniff out odors from adult female mice live 8% longer than expected, possibly because their puberty is delayed.

We have known since the 1970s that getting young female mice to smell the urine of older females causes them to reach puberty later. This is thought to be because “if you perceive that you have a lot of female adult competitors in your environment who could affect your ability to reproduce, it may be beneficial to delay your sexual maturation until they are no longer said it…

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