Aging in Birds

Biochemistry (Mosc). 2016 Dec;81(12):1558-1563. doi: 10.1134/S0006297916120178.


Rodents are the most commonly used model organisms in studies of aging in vertebrates. However, there are species that may suit this role much better. Most birds (Aves), having higher rate of metabolism, live two-to-three times longer than mammals of the same size. This mini-review briefly covers several evolutionary, ecological, and physiological aspects that may contribute to the phenomenon of birds' longevity. The role of different molecular mechanisms known to take part in the process of aging according to various existing theories, e.g. telomere shortening, protection against reactive oxygen species, and formation of advanced glycation end-products is discussed. We also address some features of birds' aging that make this group unique and perspective model organisms in longevity studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Birds / physiology*
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Longevity
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Telomere Homeostasis


  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Reactive Oxygen Species