Leach’s Storm-Petrels live a remarkably long life for being so small. A lifespan of up to 36 years is not unheard of for this pelagic (sea-dwelling) species. This is about 25 years longer than would be expected for a bird this size! Why is this?
Telomeres are pieces of DNA that alleviate cell division and oxidation. Longer telomeres usually occur in younger living things; telomeres typically shorten as aging occurs. However, the telomeres in Leach’s Storm Petrels appear to actually grow with age. Does this mean that Leach’s Storm-Petrels are immortal? In theory, maybe. But the birds still die. Their remarkable cell structure is an interesting source of study for scientists.
Leach’s Storm Petrel was added to Birdorable on October 13, 2012. If you can’t get enough of this cute, little, and possibly immortal pelagic bird, be sure to check out our range of Leach’s Storm Petrel gifts and apparel!