Aging is characterized by progressive degenerative changes in tissue organization and function that increase the probability of mortality. Major goals of aging research include elucidating the series of events that cause degenerative changes and analyzing environmental and genetic factors that modulate these changes. The basis for mechanistic studies of aging are accurate and precise descriptions of age-related changes, since these descriptions define the aging phenotype. Here we review studies that describe age-related changes in C. elegans including measurements of integrated functions such as behavior, microscopic analyses of tissue organization, and biochemical studies of macromolecules. Genetic and environmental factors that influence these changes are described, and studies that analyze the relationships between different age-related changes are discussed. Together these studies provide fundamental insights into aging in C. elegans that may be relevant to aging in other animals.