Life-history theory suggests that the optimal reproductive output of an organism is affected by factors such as energy acquisition and predation risk. The observation that some organisms actively search for their prey and others ambush them creates the expectation of different energy needs and predation risk associated with each foraging behaviour, the so-called ‘foraging-mode paradigm’. Although this paradigm has been around for decades, the empirical evidence consists of conflicting results derived from competing models based on different mechanisms. For instance, models within the foraging-mode paradigm suggest that widely foraging females have evolved low reproductive output, because a heavy reproductive load decreases their ability to escape from predators. By contrast, a long-standing prediction of evolutionary theory indicates that organisms subject to high extrinsic mortality, should invest more in reproduction. Here, we present the first partial evidence that widely foraging species have evolved greater reproductive output than have sit-and-wait species, which we attribute to a larger body size and greater mortality among mobile foragers. According to our findings, we propose a theoretical model that could explain the observed pattern in lizards, suggesting ways for evolutionary ecologists to test mechanistic hypotheses at the intraspecific level.