Why do different animals have different lifespans? I'm trying to decide the lifespan of some spec-bio creatures, and I don't know where to start
To quote Dr Joao Pedro Magalhaes:
“One of the big mysteries of biology is understanding species differences including species differences in aging,”
That’s a hard one to answer! There’s lots of on going research on aging, so we are starting to get some idea why there’s differences in the longevity between species!
There’s both environmental and biological factors that determine the lifespan of different species.
Biological factors include:
the ability to process oxygen and nutrients. As well as the efficiency to generate heat and conserve energy
The efficiency and type of heart:
Blood is required in the circulation of nutrients and oxygen (in all vertebrates anyways. Some inverts like insects take oxygen in from an open circulatory system due to their “blood”
hemolymph not having oxygen carrying capabilities like mammal blood: haemoglobin. But that’s a whole other thing to get into). Therefore animals with bigger mass require more complex and large hearts in order to circulate the blood.
“É uma mania minha. De colocar uma música que combine, fechar os olhos, pôr as memórias lado a lado e deixá-las passando em flashes na minha mente como se fossem um filme. E ficar ali, esperando uma lágrima cair, um sorriso surgir e refletindo sobre o que vale a pena.” — João Pedro Bueno