Ageless Turtles

Posted on December 12, 2006  Comments (1)

All but Ageless, Turtles Face Their Biggest Threat: Humans by Natalie Angier:

Dr. Christopher J. Raxworthy, the associate curator of herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History, says the liver, lungs and kidneys of a centenarian turtle are virtually indistinguishable from those of its teenage counterpart, a Ponce de Leonic quality that has inspired investigators to begin examining the turtle genome for novel longevity genes.

“Turtles don’t really die of old age,” Dr. Raxworthy said. In fact, if turtles didn’t get eaten, crushed by an automobile or fall prey to a disease, he said, they might just live indefinitely.

Turtles have the power to almost stop the ticking of their personal clock. “Their heart isn’t necessarily stimulated by nerves, and it doesn’t need to beat constantly,” said Dr. George Zug, curator of herpetology at the Smithsonian Institution. “They can turn it on and off essentially at will.”

One Response to “Ageless Turtles”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Turtle Camps in Malaysia
    April 15th, 2008 @ 8:05 am

    Pelf is on her way to the USA for turtle conservation training on the Asian Scholarship Program for in-situ Chelonian Conservation…

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