Data from: Slow life-history strategies are associated with negligible actuarial senescence in western Palearctic salamanders
Cayuela, Hugo et al. (2019), Data from: Slow life-history strategies are associated with negligible actuarial senescence in western Palearctic salamanders, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6f407n9
Actuarial senescence has been viewed for a long time as an inevitable and uniform process. However, the work on senescence has mainly focused on endotherms with deterministic growth and low regeneration capacity during the adult stage, leading to a strong taxonomic bias in the study of aging. Recent studies have highlighted that senescence could indeed display highly variable trajectory that correlates with species life history traits. Slow life histories and indeterminate growth seem to be associated with weak and late senescence. Furthermore, high regenerative abilities could lead to negligible senescence in several ectotherms. However, demographic data for species that would allow testing of these hypotheses are scarce. Here, we investigated senescence patterns in “true salamanders” from the Western Palearctic. Our results showed that salamanders have slow life histories and that they experience negligible senescence. This pattern was consistent at both intra- and interspecific levels, suggesting that the absence of senescence may be a phylogenetically conserved trait. The regenerative capacities of salamanders, in combination with other physiological and developmental features such as an indeterminate growth and a low metabolic rate, likely explain why these small ectotherms have lifespans similar to that of large endotherms and, in contrast to most amniotes, undergo negligible senescence. Our study seriously challenges the idea that senescence is a ubiquitous phenomenon in the tree of life.