Data from: Telomere length reflects phenotypic quality and costs of reproduction in a long-lived seabird

Christina Bauch, Peter H. Becker & Simon Verhulst
Telomere length is associated with cellular senescence, lifestyle and ageing. Short telomeres indicate poor health in humans and reduced life expectancy in several bird species, but little is known about telomeres in relation to phenotypic quality in wild animals. We investigated telomere lengths in erythrocytes of known-age common terns (Sterna hirundo), a migratory seabird, in relation to arrival date and reproductive performance. Cross-sectional data revealed that, independent of age, individuals with short telomeres performed better:...
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