Patterns in Mammalian Ageing: Demography and Evolution

  • Steven N. Austad
Part of the International Studies in Population book series (ISIP, volume 4)

From our limited knowledge of comparative mammalian longevity four generalizations may be made: (1) overall, larger mammal species live longer than smaller ones; (2) certain taxonomic groups such as bats and marsupials are exceptions to this body size-longevity relationship; (3) within species, there is suggestive evidence that smaller individuals are generally longer-lived than larger individuals; and (4) in most mammal species, females are the longer-lived sex, although numerous exceptions can be found. In the unique data set represented by the NIA/NCTR Biomarkers of Ageing study in which four mouse and three rat genotypes were reared under identical conditions, it is evident that male mice typically live longer than female mice, while the reverse is true for rats. In addition, although there is a large unexplained variation in longevity, even among genetically identical animals in identical environments, there is no evidence from the enhanced longevity of caloric restriction of a longevity “wall” beyond which mice and rats cannot live.


Caloric Restriction Laboratory Rodent Maximum Longevity Exceptional Longevity Trapping Grid 
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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven N. Austad
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Cellular and Structural Biology, Barshop Institute for Longevity aUniversity of TexasSan AntonioUSA

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