Does this mean that any mammal lives longer? What does it mean by "no land mammal," then?

Graunt’s book is a glimpse of the suddenness and terror of death before modern medicine. It came early, too: until the 20th century, the average human lived about as long as a chimpanzee. Today science and economic growth mean that no land mammal lives longer. Yet an unintended consequence has been to turn dying into a medical experience.

How to have a better death, April 29 Issue, The Economist http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21721371-death-inevitable-bad-death-not-how-have-better-death

  • I read this three times and still can't figure you out. Where do you read that "no man," part? Why do think it means that any mammal lives longer? (it doesn't) Apr 28 '17 at 14:16
  • 1
    I too could not find "no man" in the quoted text. The phrase no land mammal lives longer is making the claim that, of all land-based mammals, humans live the longest (on average). Apr 28 '17 at 14:21
  • It means that no mammal living on land (as opposed to in water) lives for more years than humans do. Whales and other sea mammals might be an exception. Apr 28 '17 at 14:22
  • Thank you very much for your quick comments and answers. I understand it perfectly.
    – Bakebake
    Apr 28 '17 at 14:25

The phrase no land mammal lives longer simply means that there is no other land-based mammal that lives as long as the average human. (Whales apparently live longer, reaching 200 years, hence the limitation to land mammals.)

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    Also there are land animals that live longer than humans, but they are not mammals, but reptiles - namely any of the giant tortoise species.
    – Neil W
    Apr 28 '17 at 14:40
  • Elephants come pretty close
    – Chris H
    Apr 28 '17 at 15:21

I agree with @Roger. Earlier in history, humans used to have a lifespan about the same as that of Chimpanzees.

The advances in Science and improved living conditions due to more vibrant economies has extended the average life span of humans.

Some humans are privileged to live till they are 100 or even 110 years of age. No other land mammal achieves this fit. But as @Roger pointed out the Blue Whale is a mammal with a longer lifespan than man but it doesn't live on land.

I guess complex sentences like this one pack a lot of facts in meaning into a tiny package and requires that one tease them apart gently (smile).

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