The comparative energetics of aging makes use of judiciously chosen, particularly informative species to dissect the complex but fundamentally important relationship between the rate of aging and an organisms’ energy acquisition, storage, and use. It requires analysis at the level of the cell, tissue, organ, and organism and holds a key to broader and deeper understanding of why and how we age.

Graph showing lifespans of several creatures. Names and details are explored in the links below the graph. Lifespans range from 20 weeks to 500 years.

Maximum Recorded Lifespan Log (years)

Comparative biology seeks insight into fundamental biological processes by making comparisons among species or distinct groups within species. The turquoise killifish, Nothobranchius furzeri, is the shortest-lived vertebrate currently known; the mouse, the standard biomedical model of aging, does not live much longer even when kept under optimal conditions. The remaining species shown here are extremely long-lived in the wild. All these animals must continue to function over their very long lifespans. Discovering how they accomplish this will yield insights that help us understand the basic biology of aging. You can learn more about these species through the links below.

1-5 Years

50 Years

100 Years

200 Years

500+ Years