Although humans feature at the top of the food chain in the animal kingdom, some species outlast humans in terms of longevity.
There are animals on the land, in the air, and in water that can last for many decades or even centuries. So, for many species, turning 100 (years old) is nothing special. Here’s our list of the 10 Longest Living Animals on Earth.
There are several species whose life spans make the oldest living human just a spring chicken in comparison.
You must have come in contact with many animals (such as dogs and cats) that live only a fraction of their owner’s life. Moreover, some insects survive less than five minutes.
However, given the right environment or circumstances, many animals worldwide can survive for decades or centuries.
Here, we have features of ten creatures that spend a long time on Earth, some for several hundred years.
So, if you’re eager to know what animal lives the longest, then you must surely check out this post. It lists down the longest living animals on Earth. Under ideal conditions, these animals can live for several decades or even centuries.
So, let’s explore the list of the 10 longest living animals on Earth without further ado. We’re sure some on the list will surprise you.
Table of Contents
10 Longest Living Animals
Let’s get started:
1. Elkhorn Coral
This one might be much surprising for you. The Elkhorn Coral is the longest-living animal in the world.
Elkhorn Coral are resilient little sea creatures that originated more than 5000 years ago. They are mainly found in Florida and across the Caribbean.
Many assume corals to be plants.
However, that’s not true.
These are colonies of tiny living invertebrates called polyps. They capture their food rather than making it.
2. Turritopsis Nutricula Jellyfish
Other than the Elkhorn Corals, the Turritopsis Nutricula Jellyfish might also be the longest living animal in the world. This species of jellyfish is the only creature on Earth that can ‘bypass death.’ In fact, scientists have deemed this jellyfish to be ‘immortal.’
They can revert their cells to their earliest form and grow anew when they are in danger. So, there’s no limit as far as its lifespan is concerned. They can convert themselves from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage.
However, in practice, these jellyfish do not survive forever. They get eaten by their predators just like all other animals.
3. Ocean Quahog
The Ocean Quahogs live on an average of over 400 years. So, these species have phenomenal longevity and are one of the longest living animals on Earth.
Just like a tree’s age can be deduced by its rings, in the same way, the age of an Ocean Quahog can be found out by counting the dark concentric rings or bands on its shell. These concentric rings are annual marks from which their age can be determined.
One particular species of Ocean Quahog is supposedly 507 years old. It was the highest reported age of this particular species. Ming the ocean quahog was accidentally killed at age 507 when researchers cracked opened its shell for counting its growth rings.
4. Greenland Sharks
Greenland Sharks are those species that can live as long as 400 years. They are one of the longest living vertebrates on Earth. Their longevity can be attributed to their super slow growth rate. Greenland Sharks only grow 1 centimeter per year.
Greenland Sharks are mainly found in the North Atlantic Region. This species of shark live deeper in the ocean. They practically eat anything. On average, the Greenland Sharks live closer to 272 years. However, one of the species of Greenland Sharks was found to be 400 years old.
Greenland Sharks reach maturity around 100 years. Moreover, they don’t mate until they’re at least 150 years old!
5. Bowhead Whale
Bowhead Whales are known to be the second-largest mammals. They are second only to the gigantic blue whale. In fact, bowhead whales have the longest lifespan as far as marine mammals are concerned.
The average lifespan of the bowhead whale runs to be 200 years. Moreover, the oldest known bowhead whale was found to be 210 years old.
Bowhead whales are mostly found in the Arctic region. Apart from its longevity, the bowhead whale is known for its largemouth. It has the largest mouth of any animal. In fact, a mature bowhead whale male’s mouth is one-third the size of its body.
6. Red Sea Urchins
According to recent research, the red sea urchins are counted among the longest living animals on Earth. These small, spiny invertebrates can survive up to 100 years. However, some may live up to 200 years old.
One of the red sea urchins born in the year 1805 is still breeding to this day. These species are mostly found in the Pacific Ocean’s shallow waters across the west coast of North America.
7. Galapagos Giant Tortoise
These giant tortoises are found in the Galapagos Islands and are considered the oldest living animal on Earth. These species of tortoise can easily live around 100 years. In fact, the average tortoise lifespan can be around 150 years.
There was a particular Galapagos tortoise, Harret, who lived up to 170 years. It died due to heart failure in the year 2006. These species can be more than 5 feet long and can weigh up to 500 pounds or more.
They don’t eat much. They mainly feed on grass and nibbles cactus. At times, they can go without eating anything at all. They can store gallons of water in their bladders which helps them to withstand hot weather.
You may be surprised, but the fact is that the tiny tubeworm species found deep in the Gulf of Mexico have one of the longest lifespans. In fact, tiny tubeworms can live up to 250 years.
So, the general rule of thumb that the larger animals live longer does not hold good with these tiny tubeworms. They have one of the longest lifespans. These tiny species live at the bottom of the ocean; they get all their nutritional needs from bacteria.
Macaws are one of the most beautiful parrots in the world. These colorful, long-tailed parrots can live up to 80 to 100 years. Their breeding age ranges from 25 to 30 years. However, unfortunately, these birds are now among the endangered species in the wild. Moreover, these wonderful birds have gone extinct at some places due to illegal pet trading and the destruction of their natural habitat.
There are as many as 20 species of Macaw, and most of them have become endangered or critically endangered. In fact, the Hyacinth Macaw is regarded as the largest of all parrots. It has a wingspan of four feet (approx). These colorful parrots have an average lifespan of 60 years in the wild. They are usually social and love to stay in flocks consisting of 30 birds.
10. African Elephant
The African Elephant is regarded as one of the toughest animals in the world. It is the largest land mammal and weighs up to seven tons. Its average lifespan is around 70 years. However, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest African elephant was found to live for 86 years.
African Elephants are regarded as herbivores. These animals tend to consume over three hundred pounds of food daily that consist of food such as grass, plants, and barks to eat. They drink two hundred liters of water at a single time. These mammals come with a good sense of smell and have a good hearing capacity. However, their eyesight is average.
So, there it is!
We have listed out the 10 longest living animals on Earth. What’s your opinion of these amazing species?
Do let us know in the comments.
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