"Human Fish" Salamander Can Live to 100

Biologists have determined that this tiny cave salamander, nicknamed the "human fish" has a maximum lifespan of 100 years. For a creature of that size, that's quite unusual:

The salamander, also called olm and Proteus, has a maximum lifespan of over 100 years, concludes the new study, published in the latest Royal Society Biology Letters. That's nearly double the age of other often-elderly amphibians: the Japanese giant salamander (55 years), the African bullfrog (45 years), the common European toad (40 years) and the mudpuppy (34 years).[...]

Voituron, a professor at Claude Bernard Lyon University, and his team calculated growth rates, generation times and the lifespan of olms living in a cave at Moulis, Saint-Girons, France. Since the 1950s, conservationists have established a breeding program there for the threatened salamanders.

In addition to determining the lifespan of the cave salamanders, the researchers found that this species becomes sexually mature at around age 16 and lays, on average, 35 eggs every 12.5 years.

"What promotes its longevity is probably very low activity, low reproduction, no environmental stress and its peculiar physiology," Voituron said.


Link via io9 | Photo: Yann Voituron

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