Humans have a “natural” lifespan of around 38 years, according to a new method we have developed for estimating the lifespans of different species by analysing their DNA.
Extrapolating from genetic studies of species with known lifespans, we found that the extinct woolly mammoth probably lived around 60 years and bowhead whales can expect to enjoy more than two and a half centuries of life.
Our research, published today in Scientific Reports, looked at how DNA changes as an animal ages – and found that it varies from species to species and is related to how long the animal is likely to live. MORE
Header image: Using DNA analysis, scientists can now estimate the lifespans of long-lived and extinct species. Credit: CSIRO, Author provided.