Aging Birds Have Fading Feet (And Are Less Likely to Reproduce)
A study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology is apparently the first to examin
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e the effects of aging on the ability of birds to reproduce. The study, which focused on Blue-footed Boobies Sula nebouxii, found that “The DNA of the sperm of older individuals is damaged. This means their offspring have a greater likelihood of suffering from congenital illnesses.”
Females can identify the too-old males by their fading feet, and are less likely to choose males with that particular sign of aging. A few more details on this fascinating study can be found here.