Nestling telomere shortening, but not telomere length, reflects developmental stress and predicts survival in wild birds.

@article{Boonekamp2014NestlingTS,
  title={Nestling telomere shortening, but not telomere length, reflects developmental stress and predicts survival in wild birds.},
  author={Jelle J Boonekamp and Gerdina A. Mulder and H Martijn Salomons and Cor Dijkstra and Simon Verhulst},
  journal={Proceedings. Biological sciences},
  year={2014},
  volume={281 1785},
  pages={20133287}
}
Developmental stressors often have long-term fitness consequences, but linking offspring traits to fitness prospects has remained a challenge. Telomere length predicts mortality in adult birds, and may provide a link between developmental conditions and fitness prospects. Here, we examine the effects of manipulated brood size on growth, telomere dynamics and post-fledging survival in free-living jackdaws. Nestlings in enlarged broods achieved lower mass and lost 21% more telomere repeats… CONTINUE READING
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Meta-analysis of telomere length in 19,713 subjects reveals high heritability, stronger maternal inheritance and a paternal age effect

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