Australian researchers evaluated the life cycle of various species of living things by analyzing their DNA and found that, for example, a mammoth probably lived for about 60 years, and whales can live for more than two centuries.
See also: Discovery: fertilization does not happen as previously thought
Knowing the lifespan of various types of living organisms, it is possible to build effective conservation strategies.
Therefore, the authors of the study propose to recognize these data with DNA.
They applied 252 species of animals with a known life span to the genome. To do this, they used the epigenetic clock method, based on age-related changes in the pattern of methyl marks.
DNA methyl tags contain information on the life span of organisms
To determine the lifespan, enough data on DNA methylation in 42 genes.
Despite the fact that DNA methylation is associated with aging and longevity, one study still has not used it as a method for assessing animal life.
However, this time, scientists applied this method of assessment and obtained interesting data.
In particular, it turned out that for a whale, life expectancy is 268 years – 57 years more than that of the oldest specimen.
For mammoths, the estimate was 60 years, which roughly corresponds to the life expectancy of the modern African elephant.
Neanderthal – an extinct species from the genus Humans
The "natural" life expectancy of a person is 38 years. Approximately this life expectancy was characteristic of our extinct relatives – Neanderthals and Denisovites,
– the study says.
Thanks to civilization and medicine, modern people live much longer.
Over the past 200 years, the average life expectancy of people has more than doubled. Man is the only species that is an exception to the rule.