Researchers from The University of Gothenburg, Sweden, had conducted the study on barnacle geese, which live longer. They measured the telomere length in the birds twice in two years. Telomeres are the protective caps found at the end of chromosomes. Length of the telomeres is used to measure age and predict life expectancy. The telomere length reduces gradually with each cell division and partly due to stress.
The analysis indicated that the length of telomeres shortened quickly in female geese than in males. Moreover, it was noted that the birds which produced offspring much later and fewer in number, preserved their telomeres better and lived longer.
The findings are published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.