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Old 07-08-13, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

So I'm kind of curious about this since I've heard that BP's can live up 30-40 years in captivity (no idea how long they live in the wild). So which snakes live the longest in captivity? Anddddd which ones live the longest in the wild?
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Old 07-08-13, 04:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

I can't remember which one for sure it was like Arizona or Utah or Nevada State University. Had a adult Rosie Boa estimated to be 2 or older when it was found that lived at the University for over 50 plus years. When i read the article they said they believed it to be close to 60 years of age. I do remember it was in Reptile magazine i read it in like 15 years ago. I'll have to look i might still have it.
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Old 07-08-13, 07:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

The ones with the slowest metabolisms usually. The breeder I got my dum from years ago said he had a 28 year old female that he still bred.

Bp's have not been popular long enough to know that soo...
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Old 07-08-13, 08:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

I want to say its pretty neck-in-neck with BPs and BCI. Can't remember the source, but I want to say the record for each was 49 & something years.
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Old 07-08-13, 08:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

BCI is surprising. I'm willing to bet that its just because of their popularity in captivity. Like Amadeus said, low metabolism usually takes the cake, so BP isn't a surprising candidate. Look at the tuatara....100 , 150 year lifespans possible...

Don't know much about torts but I'm assuming the have a slow metabolism too, just based on ages (could be wrong, just assuming)
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Old 07-08-13, 08:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

Yeah I remember reading about that 50+ rosy boa. My Haitian Boa has been with me since 1982 so that's at least 30.5 yrs (probably about 31.5 total). I think with a lot of species this has yet to be determined. Maybe I'm off but I would say you could count on 20 yrs plus for most medium to large species provided they are free of any serious genetic issues and (here's the big one...) properly taken care of(proper climate, neither under or over fed, not over stressed, provided opportunity to get some exercise, etc).
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Old 07-08-13, 09:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

Why does a slow metabolism translate to a longer life?
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Old 07-08-13, 10:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

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BCI is surprising.
Not at all. It is a boid after all.
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Old 07-08-13, 10:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

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Why does a slow metabolism translate to a longer life?
I've never really thought of it.... I would assume a higher metabolism cause the body to "wear out" faster.
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Old 07-08-13, 10:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

Rubber and Rosy boas for sure. Rubber boas regularly live to 50 or more, or so I've heard. I hadn't heard of the 50 year old Rosy but I had heard that 30 to 40 for them was fairly common.
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Old 07-13-13, 12:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

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Why does a slow metabolism translate to a longer life?
If I am recalling correctly from my university biology courses, aging is the result of the accumulation of defects in chromosomal DNA. Each time cells undergo division, the possibility of a defect occurring is present. Damage to DNA also naturally occurs from a variety of other factors, as well. The more frequently a cell divides, the more likely a defect in DNA replication will occur. (Not unlike "shooting craps". The more often you toss the dice, the higher the likelihood of "crapping out".) If the cell's DNA is already damaged due to other factors -- such as exposure to UV light -- then not only is the possibility of a mistake in DNA transcription present, but in addition the damaged DNA will be replicated so now you have two cells with defects. Organisms with faster metabolisms undergo cell divisions more frequently. As a result, they accumulate DNA defects more quickly, and therefore age more quickly.

Did that make sense, Frank?
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Old 07-13-13, 02:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Which snakes have the longest lifespans?

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If I am recalling correctly from my university biology courses, aging is the result of the accumulation of defects in chromosomal DNA. Each time cells undergo division, the possibility of a defect occurring is present. Damage to DNA also naturally occurs from a variety of other factors, as well. The more frequently a cell divides, the more likely a defect in DNA replication will occur. (Not unlike "shooting craps". The more often you toss the dice, the higher the likelihood of "crapping out".) If the cell's DNA is already damaged due to other factors -- such as exposure to UV light -- then not only is the possibility of a mistake in DNA transcription present, but in addition the damaged DNA will be replicated so now you have two cells with defects. Organisms with faster metabolisms undergo cell divisions more frequently. As a result, they accumulate DNA defects more quickly, and therefore age more quickly.

Did that make sense, Frank?

It also has to do with the telomeres and when they reach a short enough length so the cell cannot pass the checkpoint in order to divide again. (which goes back to your cell division idea, the faster cell division, the shorter the half life of telomeres in that cell)
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