PhysOrg.com reports on work lending support to the contributions of antagonistic pleiotropy to the the evolution of aging: "A theory which says that reproductive success in early life will lead to faster ageing later has been supported by the study of mute swans (Cygnus olor) which shows that those swans which reproduce early in life also stopped breeding early, and vice versa. Which pattern a swan adopts appears to be genetically inherited. ... The important thing about this study is it shows that this link between the age at which you start reproducing and the age at which you stop is actually genetic. If you carry genes which will make you start reproducing early, you also carry genes which will make you stop early. It's what we call an 'evolutionary trade-off.'" There is some fundamental aspect of the way in which we are put together that produces this trade-off. A biological system optimized to succeed more rapidly is (usually) one that breaks down more rapidly.