Three animal elders who are teaching us about aging

Whether it's living to 250 by being lazy, or being a lady's man at 50, these animals age quite differently to us.

In Aging in the Wild, a documentary from The Nature of Things, we meet some older animals that age in unexpected ways.  

Here are three more 'animal elder' stories.

Size matters

In elephant society, the right to reproduce is everything. The most dominant males get more access to the females — and usually, that comes with being the biggest guy around. "Big Tim" is nearly 50 years old, but he's still in his reproductive prime; a real lady's man.

A life of luxury

For humans, a 70-year-old might be considered old, but for this Aldabra giant tortoise, it's hardly middle-age. Native to the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, the giant tortoise lives an idyllic life — feeding on vegetation and taking frequent naps. Their slow pace of life might be the secret to their longevity, sometimes reaching 250 years-old! 

Interest in sex changes with age

It's not surprising that some of our closest relatives age much like us. Young chimpanzees love to play and swing around in trees, while older chimps take things more slowly, resting more on the ground during downtime. This alpha female was once the most popular member of her troop. Now, as she enters her 50s, interest from males has diminished. 

Watch Aging in the Wild on The Nature of Things

Available on CBC Gem

Aging in the Wild

Nature of Things