I would be surprised if this was not a well-known idea but it is something that I have never heard anyone discuss. For early life, there was no death. A single celled organism dies not die. It propagates itself by division. A single celled organism does not grow old. it just transforms into new multiple versions of itself. Death is an invention of evolution that came with multi-cellular organisms
Death can be a evolutionary advantage for a species in that it removes members from a population after they have served their evolutionary purpose of reproducing. The removed members will not compete for resources with the newly generated members who have a longer history of evolutionary learning behind them. This allows for a more responsive speed of evolution for a species and hence better adaptation.