Correlation between body size and longevity: New analysis and data covering six taxonomic classes of vertebrates
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonKuparinen, A., Yeung, E. & Hutchings, J. (2023). Correlation between body size and longevity: New analysis and data covering six taxonomic classes of vertebrates. Acta Oecologica, 119, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2023.103917
Large bodied species are known to live longer than small bodied species. However, it is less clear whether the positive correlation varies across taxa. In this short communication, we combine data entries from literature and databases on body mass and maximum life span for 3722 species covering taxonomic Classes Chondrichthyes, Teleostei, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia. We then analyse the log(maximum life span) – log(body mass) relationship using generalized linear model with nested random intercepts and slopes for Class/Order/Family. Our analyses generally demonstrate the positive longevity – body mass relationship but also reveal that slopes and intercepts differ slightly among all Classes except Reptilia and Amphibia. Highest slopes can be found in Classes Aves and Chondrichthyes. Differences between the smallest and largest Family-level slopes was more than threefold. While these preliminary analyses provide a brief overview of body size – longevity relationships across taxa, the dataset collated in the present study could serve as a start point for in-depth phylogenetic analyses to uncover complex pathways through which body size and its correlates might have evolved.