Why killer whales can live 50 years after menopause

March 6, 2015 4:22 PM

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Why killer whales can live 50 years after menopause

Killer whales and short-finned pilot whales are the only species known to have post-reproductive life spans like our own. (AP Photo/Center for Whale Research, David Ellifrit, File)

Female orcas typically stop breeding around the age of 40, which is roughly the time when their male counterparts tend to, well, die off. But once the females hit menopause, they can rather unusually live another 50 or so years—and now scientists think they know why.

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