We may have found one of the primary causes for the amazing longevity of bowhead whales, which may live for more than 200 years. Bowhead whales can live for more than 200 years.
One male bowhead whale is believed to have been approximately 211 years old when it was slain by hunters. This makes bowhead whales the mammals with the oldest known lifespan. Now it has been discovered that they have a gene duplication that appears to limit the division of cells, which allows the whales to live for a longer period of time; however, this comes at the expense of a reduction in male fertility.
According to Vincent Lynch of the, the long life of bowheads is most likely the result of a number of other genetic modifications, but this one may be especially crucial.