Scaling of maximal lifespan in bats

Comp Biochem Physiol A Comp Physiol. 1987;88(2):361-7. doi: 10.1016/0300-9629(87)90498-1.


1. Values for maximal lifespan in heterothermic and homeothermic bats as a function of body weight, brain weight and lifetime basal energy consumption were submitted to linear (log-log) and multiple regression analysis. 2. The results of the regression analyses of maximal lifespan in bats were compared with those reported for non-flying mammals based on both narrow and wide weight ranges. 3. It was found that the regression lines (linear or multiple) for maximal lifespan in bats (heterothermic or homeothermic) lie well above the regression lines for non-flying mammals. 4. Predictions of maximal lifespan in heterothermic bats based on estimated lifetime basal energy consumption and body weight are in reasonable agreement with observed values when torpor and hibernation behaviour are taken into account. 5. But observed values of maximal lifespan in homeothermic bats were found to lie substantially above the regression lines derived for non-flying mammals. 6. It was concluded that existing hypotheses do not account for the long lifespan observed in bats generally.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Chiroptera / anatomy & histology
  • Chiroptera / metabolism
  • Chiroptera / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Longevity*
  • Organ Size
  • Regression Analysis