Data from: Senescence or selective disappearance? Age trajectories of body mass in wild and captive populations of a small-bodied primate
Hämäläinen, Anni et al. (2014), Data from: Senescence or selective disappearance? Age trajectories of body mass in wild and captive populations of a small-bodied primate, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t01gt
Classic theories of ageing consider extrinsic mortality (EM) a major factor in shaping longevity and ageing, yet most studies of functional ageing focus on species with low EM. This bias may cause overestimation of the influence of senescent declines in performance over condition-dependent mortality on demographic processes across taxa. To simultaneously investigate the roles of functional senescence (FS) and intrinsic, extrinsic and condition-dependent mortality in a species with a high predation risk in nature, we compared age trajectories of body mass (BM) in wild and captive grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) using longitudinal data (853 individuals followed through adulthood). We found evidence of non-random mortality in both settings. In captivity, the oldest animals showed senescence in their ability to regain lost BM, whereas no evidence of FS was found in the wild. Overall, captive animals lived longer, but a reversed sex bias in lifespan was observed between wild and captive populations. We suggest that even moderately condition-dependent EM may lead to negligible FS in the wild. While high EM may act to reduce the average lifespan, this evolutionary process may be counteracted by the increased fitness of the long-lived, high-quality individuals.