Primate and Human Aging – Not so different after all


A recent study which has been published in Science has shown that human aging isn’t necessarily slower than in other species of primates, despite our longer lifespan.

The study carried out by Anne Bronikowski and a team of 10 other biologists and anthropologists has looked at seven species of wild primates to compare rates of aging to that of humans. Some of the species that were included in the long-term study were Capuchin Monkeys, Chimpanzees, Baboons and Sifaka Lemurs.

The work focused on the rate of increase of mortality factors with age. The data of 3000 individual primates was compared to human data and it was found that humans fit the trend for the rest of the primates. This came as a surprise to researchers:

“Human patterns are not strikingly different, even though wild primates experience sources of mortality from which humans may be protected…” The research team wrote in Science.

Their research has also shown that humans aren’t alone in the mortality age gap between males and females. Other primates show the same pattern of males dying sooner than the females of their species.

This research could further play a role in the understanding of what affects our maximum lifespan and how it may be possible to extend our lifespan.


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