What 3 species of animals on Earth experience menopause? - You can win some bar bets with this!

“Menopause” in this case defined as living well after fertility has ceased.

Article and answer here

The answer is female

humans, killer whales and pilot whales.

That is fascinating! I always presumed all mammals experienced menopause.

So the other great apes don’t experience a cessation of fertility? Only us? Well, that’s nice to know. It means Koko the gorilla, who’ll be 45 years old on Monday, may yet reproduce.

Does this mean that other species remain fertile indefinitely, or that they die prior to their age of menopause?

My understanding from reading the article is that once they are no longer fertile, they die. Whereas humans and some whales, live for decades after their fertility is gone.

Wait, Greenland whales don’t? They can get over 200 years old, so I had them as a top contender.

Most people in bars don’t like to talk about things like this, ask me how I know.

Wiki says that quite a few species experience menopause:

How does this apply to our five geriatric hens who have stopped laying, yet are content in their retirement?

Now you’ve got me thinking because we keep backyard hens too. And our oldest 2 (6+ years old) have stopped laying & seem to be all moody & disagreeable.

Menopause isn’t just the cessation of fertility, aka when all the eggs are used up, it seems to be a programmed phase of life where fertility is shut down at a particular age for some biological reason, probably to protect the life of the female animal because breeding becomes dangerous past that age and the animal has important things to contribute to the group other than genetics.
If menopause in humans was just about “when the eggs run out” women who take hormonal birth control most of their lives wouldn’t experience menopause because they haven’t been ovulating most of their lives and still have most of their eggs. And yet they do.
Most species simply experience a slow, gradual decline in fertility, not an abrupt stop at a predictable age.

Sometimes old hens have such low estrogen levels that background baseline testosterone will cause them to crow and fight. We’ve considered HRT for one old timer.