Senescence is a form of cellular aging that limits the proliferative capacity of cells. Senescence can be triggered by different stress stimuli, such as DNA damage or oncogene activation. Two recent articles published in Cell have uncovered an unexpected role for cellular senescence during development, as a process that contributes to remodeling and patterning of the embryo. These findings are exciting and have important implications for the understanding of normal developmental and the evolutionary origin of senescence.