Long life span is a characteristic of large parrots in general. While the African grey parrot lives as long as 70-80 years, the Macaw can live as long as 100 years. Although I can’t find a definitive answer for why parrots live so much longer than other birds, it is undoubtedly due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A study by biologists from the University of Maryland found some factors that correlate with longer life spans in various parrot species. Communal roosting habits and seed-based diets seem to correlate with longer lives in parrots. Birds who eat nectar or don’t roost communally tend to live shorter lives. This indicates that “extrinsic mortality rates are likely to vary depending on the characteristics of a species’ behavior, habitat, and diet.”
One general theory about the lifespan of animals is that they each have a maximum of about 1.5 billion heart beats then they die. That is, that animals with higher metabolisms die quicker, e.g. It takes an elephant about 65 years to have that many heart beats whereas it only takes a mouse 2 years (thus their respective life spans).
There are some species of birds and bats that defy this rule (they have high metabolisms with relatively long life spans). African Greys and Amazon parrots would definitely fall under this category.
These animals are of interest to researchers studying the aging process.
Apparently these birds are able to prevent/delay some types of damage to their DNA normally caused by aging (in most other animals)
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