This chapter focuses on animal species and their use in comparative aging and antiaging researches. Different species of animals age at radically different paces. A salmon will degenerate and die within days after spawning while some turtles, studied for decades, do not show signs of aging. The basic aim of physiological researches in aging animals is to investigate typical human age-related changes. These include the major human killers in old age: cancer, heart, and neurodegenerative diseases. Changes in physiological parameters are interesting for comparative researches of aging. The ultimate objective of aging research is to benefit people. Consequently, choosing species for the comparative biology of aging must be done having Homo sapiens in perspective. As there is a great diversity in the pace of aging among mammals, there is no scientific reason to employ nonmammalian species in the comparative biology of aging. By contrast, incorporating nonmammalian species may lead to the use of species with different biology than humans, and thus, of more dubious use to understand human aging. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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