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Diverse aging rates in ectothermic tetrapods provide insights for the evolution of aging and longevity

Reinke, Beth A., Cayuela, Hugo, Janzen, Fredric J., Lemaître, Jean-François, Gaillard, Jean-Michel, Lawing, A. Michelle, Iverson, John B., Christiansen, Ditte G., Martínez-Solano, Iñigo, Sánchez-Montes, Gregorio, and others. (2022) Diverse aging rates in ectothermic tetrapods provide insights for the evolution of aging and longevity. Science, 376 (6600). pp. 1459-1466. ISSN 0036-8075. (doi:10.1126/science.abm0151) (KAR id:95536)


Comparative studies of mortality in the wild are necessary to understand the evolution of aging, yet ectothermic tetrapods are under-represented in this comparative landscape despite their suitability for testing evolutionary hypotheses. We provide the first comprehensive study of aging rates and longevity across tetrapod ectotherms in the wild, utilizing data from 107 populations across 77 species of reptiles and amphibians. We tested hypotheses of how thermoregulatory mode, environmental temperature, protective phenotypes, and pace of life contribute to aging. Controlling for phylogeny and body size, ectotherms displayed a higher diversity of aging rates than endotherms, and included many groups with negligible aging. Protective phenotypes and life-history tactics further explained macroevolutionary patterns of aging. By including ectothermic tetrapods, our comparative analyses enhance our understanding of aging evolution.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1126/science.abm0151
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Richard Griffiths
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2022 13:06 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2022 13:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Griffiths, Richard A..

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