Climate change causes premature ageing… in lizards!
Climate Change Conservation extinction

Climate change causes premature ageing… in lizards!

Chloe Jones
Chloe Jones

In 10 seconds? Lizards in warm environments are being “born old” due to the increased pressure from climate change, threatening extinction, researchers have found.

What do you mean they are being “born old”? A new study on 22 wild populations of common lizards, from the Massif Central mountains in France, has shown that juveniles are ageing quicker and being born “too old” due to alterations to their DNA. The DNA in question, the protective telomere, controls the rate of ageing, or “pace of life”. In most animals, telomere length usually shortens at each cell division throughout the life cycle, naturally resulting in the death of cells, and eventually the organism itself. But, if the telomere is shorter at the beginning of the organism's life, it results in a shorter life of the organism!

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