The longevity of the fish has probably been much exaggerated, and the statements of carp of 200 years living in the ponds of Pont-Chartrain and other places in France and elsewhere do not rest on satisfactory evidence.
Viability, by which are meant fecundity, longevity and vigour, was low in average.
Then so far as regards longevity, the period of a worker-bee's existence is not measured by numbering its days but simply by wear and tear, the marvellous intricacy and wonderful perfection of its framework being so delicate in construction that after six or seven weeks of strenuous toil, such as the bee undergoes in summer time, the little creature's labour is ended by a natural death.
- We have seen that different lines vary in vitality and in longevity, that from the earliest times senescent branches are given off, that different lines vary in the rate of evolution, that extinction is often heralded by symptoms of racial old age, which, however, vary widely in different groups.
It is possible that specimens of such long-lived species as Lecidea geographica actually outrival in longevity the oldest trees.
In all countries, moreover, there seems to be an inclination to exaggerate longevity after the three score years and ten have been passed.
Cicadas are also noteworthy for their longevity, which so far as is known surpasses that of all other insects.