ST. LOUIS, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Animals traveling the longest distance each day to find food have the most offspring, say researchers at Washington University in St. Louis.
The study, based on observations of 161 mammal species, is the first to disprove a longstanding belief that more walking means less reproduction, said anthropology researchers Herman Pontzer and Jason Kamilar.
"Essentially, we theorized that animals must get more energy than they spend when they walk," said Pontzer. "Otherwise, animals would never move."
Pontzer and Kamilar studied data on mammals showing, on average, the distance walked each day to find food in the wild, the rate of reproduction and the size of the offspring.
"It seems that it will always be beneficial for an animal to walk a little further each day," Pontzer said.