How come tortoises can live for so long!

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Offline Seany

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How come tortoises can live for so long!
« on: 13/07/2007 15:53:49 »
Apparently the oldest one died at the age of 240 something.. I think.. What is different about them to us, that makes them live so long?

If we find out. Could we perhaps make a medicine that could also allow us to live longer?
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Offline DoctorBeaver

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How come tortoises can live for so long!
« Reply #1 on: 13/07/2007 16:23:48 »
I asked a question on here quite a while back about heart rate. It occurred to me that the slower the heart rate, the longer-lived the animal is (yes, obviously there are exceptions) & replies indicated there may be some truth in that. Tortoises have a very slow heart rate & metabolism.
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another_someone

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How come tortoises can live for so long!
« Reply #2 on: 13/07/2007 18:42:52 »
I suspect the limiting factor is the number of cell divisions.

Ofcourse, the slower the cells divide, the less nutrients and energy they require, hence the less blood flow, and hence the less the heart needs to work to provide that blood flow.

This leads some people to the theory that one can extend the life of other animals (including humans) by carefully reducing nutrition so that the cells in the body are sufficiently starved to force them to slow down their cell divisions, but not so starved as to kill off the cells.
« Last Edit: 13/07/2007 18:45:09 by another_someone »

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Offline neilep

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How come tortoises can live for so long!
« Reply #3 on: 19/07/2007 14:40:44 »
Surely the hibernation must be a major factor here too !

Either that or it's because tortoises being encased in a shell are partly vacuum sealed !!
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