London: A research suggests that meat eating reptiles who engage in sex early in their lives are at a higher risk of early death.
On the other hand, vegan male and female reptiles, who wait until they are older to produce offspring tend to live longer than their counterparts, researchers found.
"We observed that more sex means shorter life for reptiles," said lead researcher, Daniel Pincheira-Donoso, evolutionary biologist from the University of Lincoln in Britain.
"Vegetarian food is an intrinsically low-nutrition food. We think that those who have these diets experience a reduction in reproductive rates which, in turn, increases their lifespan," he added.
For the study, the team examined longevity looked at 1,014 species, which included 672 lizards, 336 snakes, five worm lizards and a lizard-like creature called a tuatara.
They found that reptiles were more likely to die at young age if they reached sexual maturation earlier, Discovery News reported.
The findings support the hypothesis of how natural selection influences life events, the authors concluded.