Maximum shell size, growth rate, and maturation age correlate with longevity in bivalve molluscs

I. D. Ridgway, C. A. Richardson, S. N. Austad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Bivalve molluscs are newly discovered models of successful aging, and this invertebrate group includes Arctica islandica, with the longest metazoan life span. Despite an increasing biogerontological focus on bivalves, their life history traits in relation to maximum age are not as comprehensively understood as those in vertebrate model aging organisms. We explore the allometric scaling of longevity and the relationship between development schedules (time to maturity and growth rate) and longevity in the Bivalvia. Using a traditional nonphylogenetic approach and the phylogenetically independent contrasts method, the relationship among these life history parameters is analyzed. It is demonstrated that in bivalves, maximum shell size, development, and growth rates all associate with longevity. Our findings support the observations of life history patterns in mammals and fish. This is the first investigation into the relationship among longevity, size, and development schedules throughout this group, and the results strengthened by the control for phylogenetic independence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume66 A
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Bivalves
  • Longevity
  • Phylogenetically independent contrast analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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