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Sat, 25 October 2014 10:26:00
Verterbrate with shortest life found
07 Sep, 2006 11:39:49
SYDNEY, Sept 7, 2006 (AFP) - An Australian fish has been officially recognised as having the briefest life-span of any vertebrate in the natural world, scientists said Thursday.
Researchers said the Australian coral reef pygmy goby has an adult life-span of just three-and-a-half weeks, embodying the motto attributed to the late movie star James Dean -- live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse.

Scientists at James Cook University's coral reef studies centre in Queensland said they had received official notification from Guinness World Records Ltd. that the little fish had the shortest lifespan of any creature with a backbone known to science.

Professor Dave Bellwood said that the fish found on the Great Barrier Reef took ten days to reach sexual maturity, leaving them barely three weeks of life left in which to enjoy it.

"Extremely short lifespans are of scientific interest because they mark current evolutionary boundaries and biological limits within which lifes essential tasks must be successfully accomplished," Bellwood said.

"For small species living in ecological settings where high mortality rates exist, evolution often favors a live fast, die young stratagem where rapid growth and maturation are favoured, as compensation for reduced life expectancy."
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