Extended ageing in Microchiroptera

Axel Kowald bzbkowal at workm6.NoSubdomain.NoDomain
Mon Nov 7 06:29:19 EST 1994


Well, back to the original question of Jim Cummins

In article <9410260221.AA08400 at possum.murdoch.edu.au>, cummins at POSSUM.MURDOCH.EDU.AU (Dr Jim Cummins) writes:
|> A recent report in a local journal (Tideman, CR "Meat Markets and Chastity
|> Belts" Australian Natural History 1994 p 66-67) suggests that
|> Microchiropteran bats, with body masses equivalent to mice, can
|> nevertheless live more than 30 years.  
|>  
|> (1) Does anyone in this group know of active research on ageing in bats;
|> 
|> (2) Any ideas as to the possible mechanism(s)?
|> 


According to the 'Disposable Soma' theory of Tom Kirkwood, the optimal life-span
for a species has something to do with the environmental risk of the ecological
niche the species has occupied.

The safer the environment the higher the optimal life-span. According to this the
explanation would be: bats (and birds) have a lower environmental risk compared
to similar sized on the ground living mammals (they can fly). Therefore they have
evolved a longer lifespan. ... simple, isn't it ?


	Axel Kowald





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