At this point, the secret of their great durability is just beginning to come into focus. But research on the animals, and on other extraordinarily long-lived species such as bats, has already expanded gerontologists’ minds about aging in ways that studies on short-lived lab animals like mice couldn’t. Indeed, when it comes to aging, as with all else in the living world, evolution has generated "endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful," as Darwin so nicely put it. Not least among the strange beauties is a little buck-toothed burrower that ages like a demigod.
Adapted from The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution, by David Stipp (www.davidstipp.com).