Dogs are amazing for many reasons. One reason is their range in size within one species – from less than 1 kg right up to nearly 100kg – a one-hundred-fold increase.
Another reason is their lifespan. Smaller dogs – on average – live more than twice as long as giant breeds despite near-identical physiology, diet and environmental conditions.
For cats, lifespan is on a much more linear trajectory. Members of the Felidae family range from 15 to 30 years old. Larger cats like lions live longer than smaller cats like your own moggie domestic cat.
Why do big dogs die young? And how do small dogs – and cats – manage to avoid this early death trap?