November 2, 2016 Biodiversity No Comments
10 longest living animals on Earth

Humans have a relatively long lifespan

with a maximum age of around 110 years. However, there are many other animals on earth which can live much, much longer than this. These include certain reptiles, mammals, fish, and birds. The lifespan of animals is usually measured in terms of the average age that members of the species die at, rather than the oldest age they can reach. Here are the ten longest lived animals on Earth:

#1 Immortal Jellyfish

This is one of, if not the only animal species on earth which never dies. Members of this species are able to turn themselves from an adult into a baby through a process known as “transdifferentiation”. The jellyfish then reproduces via asexual reproduction, creating hundreds of identical copies of itself, and therefore never dying – in theory¹!

#2 Ocean Quahog

This species of Arctic clam is the longest living species known to man. Many specimens of the shellfish have been collected that were over 400 years old. The oldest ever know died in captivity aged an incredible 507 years. It was collected during a scientific expedition, and may have lived even longer if left alone².

#3 Galapagos Tortoise

These slow moving, gentle giants of the reptile world often live to more than a hundred years old. They are extremely well known due to their unique shape and size. The oldest recorded Galapagos Tortoise died at 152 years old³.

#4 American Box Turtle

The average age of an American box turtle is around 50 years, but many of them live well over 100. They are an interesting species due to the fact that their mortality rate doesn’t seem to increase with age – they are just as likely to die at 10 years old as they are at 100.

#5 African Elephant

The good old African elephant. They are probably one of the most famous animals on earth, but remain one of the most persecuted and are highly endangered. They usually live for around 70 years, with older members overshooting this age by decades!

#6 Bowhead Whale

Bowhead whales are undoubtedly the longest living mammals on earth, and one of the longest living animals full stop. They have an average lifespan of around 200 years, and it isn’t uncommon to recover centuries old harpoon heads from dead whales. The reason that they can live for so long is because they have a very low body temperature – a major factor contributing to longevity³.

#7 Greenland Shark

Although little is known about these sharks due to the harsh environment that they live in, many scientists estimate that they could have an average lifespan of over 200 years. The oldest members of the species are thought to be at least 400 years old, and have been touted as the world’s oldest vertebrates.

#8 Koi Fish

Although most koi only live for a modest 25 to 30 years, they have been known to reach ages up to 200 years old. A study was conducted on a famous Japanese koi which died in 1977. The results showed that it was an incredible 226 years old³.

#9 Long Finned Eel

These eels are capable of living for up to 100 years, which is incredible considering that they live in harsh environments in Australia and New Zealand. They grow just one to two centimeters each year. The oldest longfin on record was an incredible 106 years old!

#10 Macaw

While not necessarily the longest lived animals on earth, most Macaw species can live up to 60-80 years old, and they certainly take the prize as the longest living bird species. Since they are so long lived, and they don’t begin to breed until they are about 30 years old, most Macaw species are now extinct or endangered.

 


References

¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_dohrnii
² http://sciencenordic.com/new-record-world%E2%80%99s-oldest-animal-507-years-old
³ http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/10-animals-that-live-the-longest
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Box_turtle#Life_cycle_and_predation
http://www.onekind.org/education/animals_a_z/elepant
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37047168
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_longfin_eel#Life_cycle
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaw

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