Wednesday, March 22, 2017
5 animals that are almost immortal (and one that actually is)
The typical lifecycle of animals is familiar to us all. We’re born, we reach sexual maturity, we grow old and—eventually—we die. Old age, or ‘senescence’, is the gradual accumulation of cellular degradation and happens to all humans. The older we get, the more likely we are to die.
Yet there are some animals for whom this does not apply; animals that do not have any measurable decline in survival as they age, nor do they display any reduction in reproductive capability. This lack of the symptoms of ageing is called ‘negligible senescence’ and applies to many different species throughout the animal kingdom, including these five.
1. Aldabra giant tortoise Geochelone gigantea
2. Rougheye rockfish Sebastes aleutianus
3. Red sea urchin Strongylocentrotus franciscanus
4. Ocean quahog clam Arctica islandica
5. Naked mole rat Heterocephalus glaber