Mammals living in groups live longer than solitary animals, according to a new analysis of nearly 1,000 species. The study found that greater horseshoe bats , which live in a group, can have a lifespan up to 30 years, while another mammal that has a similar weight but lives a solo existence, the mole-like northern short-tailed shrew, lives about two years. The team from China and Australia published their findings in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications on Wednesday. The maximum lifespan for mammals ranges from two years, such as for shrews, to longer than 200 years in bowhead whales. In the new study, the researchers looked into 974 species of mammal and compared their longevity with their social organisation – whether they live in groups, in pairs or alone. They found that group-living species tended to live longer than those living alone, supporting the correlated evolution of a species’ social structure and its lifespan. The longevity record of western gorillas, which live in troops of around five members, is held by a 60-year-old born in captivity. Asian elephants can live up to almost 80 years while their African counterparts live up to 65 years of age. There are also tiny, group-living animals that have long lives. For example, a Brandt’s bat weighing almost 7 grams (0.25 oz) lived for 41 years in the wild. The scientists who found it in Siberia said in 2005 it was “the world’s longevity champion among small mammals”. 6 expert tips and tricks for how to live a longer, healthier life The longest-lived rodent, the naked mole-rat, has a lifespan of up to 31 years and an adult body mass of 35 grams. Yet some solitary animals, including the lesser shrew, the greater red musk shrew and the brown four-eyed opossum, live between two and three years. The researchers listed possible factors in the relationship between collective living and a longer lifespan. “Group living reduces extrinsic mortality by limiting the risks of predation and starvation, and the strong and stable social bonds formed among group members have the power to enhance longevity,” the team said. “These benefits are expected to override the costs inherent in group living, such as competition for mating partners and food, stress from higher-ranking individuals and the spread of infectious diseases via social contacts. “To maximise the rate of offspring survival, the lifespan of parents or grandparents may be extended to allow for the provision of parental care, or even grandparental care, to offspring.” Author Zhu Pingfen, an assistant professor at the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said humans were also considered in the study as group-living mammals. Do you want to feel happier? Learn from the way animals think “Homo sapiens are a special and complicated species. Some people might live alone and some get married. From a macro perspective, it is categorised as group living in the analysis,” she said. The world’s longest-living human is reported to be Jeanne Louise Calment , a French woman who was born in 1875 and lived 122.5 years, according to Guinness World Records.