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Animal lifespan and human influence

Acta Ecologica Sinica

By:
and

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Abstract

Lifespan differs radically among organisms ever lived on earth, even among those roughly similar in size, shape, form, and physiology; Yet, in general, there exists a strong positive relationship between lifespan and body size. Although lifespans of humans and human-related (domestic) animals are becoming increasingly longer than that of other animals of similar sizes, the slope of the regression (lifespan-body size) line and the intercepts have been surprisingly stable over the course of the dramatic human population growth, indicating substantial depression in lifespans of many other animals probably due to shrunk and fragmented natural habitats. This article addresses two questions related to the lifespan-size relationship: (1) what caused the exceptions (e.g., a few remote human-related animals are also located above the regression line with great residuals) and why (e.g., could brain size or intelligence be a covariate in addition to body size in predicting lifespan?), and (2) whether continued human activities can eventually alter the ' natural' regression line in the future, and if so, how much. We also suggest similar research efforts to be extended to the plant world as well.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Animal lifespan and human influence
Series title:
Acta Ecologica Sinica
Volume
22
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description:
p. 1991-1994
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Acta Ecologica Sinica
First page:
1991
Last page:
1994
Number of Pages:
3