The ageing parent in the animal world
Studies into male birds that produce offspring well into their old age could deepen concerns over the trend for delaying parenthood until later in life, for both men and women. An international team of scientists, led by Dr Brian Preston from Liverpool John Moores University, have studied the large, flamboyant houbara bustard, for insights into how aging has evolved. In their most recent work, published in Nature Communications, they found that, not only did males appear less able to produce offspring successfully as they aged, they also appeared to produce offspring that were of intrinsically lower quality. Perhaps most surprisingly, these declines in offspring quality were of a similar size to those resulting from maternal aging.
26 February 2015