The 10 longest living animals on Earth

The 10 longest living animals on Earth

Some animals can live for centuries and millennia, and some can even stop or completely reverse the aging process.

Here are the 10 longest living animals in the world.

1. Curvehead whale, over 200 years

The bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) is the longest living mammal. The exact lifespan of arctic and subarctic whales is unknown, but stone spikes found in some species demonstrate that they live comfortably for more than 100 years, and can live for more than 200 years. , according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Whales have mutations in a gene called ERCC1, which is involved in repairing damaged DNA, which may help protect whales from cancer, a potentially fatal cause. Another gene, called PCNA, is partially duplicated; This gene is involved in cell growth and repair, and duplication can slow the aging process, according to Live Science.


2. Rougheye fish, over 200 years

The 10 longest living animals on Earth

The Rougheye fish (Sebastes aleutianus) is one of the longest-living fish species and has a maximum lifespan of at least 205 years, according to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Service. These pink or brown fish live in the Pacific Ocean from California to Japan.

They grow to 97 cm long and feed on other animals such as shrimp and smaller fish, according to the Endangered Wildlife Commission (COSEWIC) in Canada - an independent advisory panel that assesses the health of animals. species threatened with extinction.

The 10 longest living animals on Earth

3. Freshwater mussels, over 250 years

Freshwater mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera) are bivalves that live mainly in rivers and streams and can be found in Europe and North America, including the US and Canada. The oldest known freshwater mussel lived to be 280 years old, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). These invertebrates have a long lifespan due to their low metabolism.

Freshwater mussels are an endangered species. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), their numbers are declining due to a variety of human-related factors, including damage and changes to the river habitat in which they reside.

The 10 longest living animals on Earth

4. Greenland Shark, 272 years or more

The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) lives deep in the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans. They can grow to 7.3 m  and feed on a variety of other animals, including fish and marine mammals such as seals. A 2016 study of the eye tissue of Greenland sharks published in the journal Science estimated the sharks could have a maximum lifespan of at least 272 years.

According to Live Science, the shark in this study is estimated to be about 392 years old, and the researchers suggest that these sharks may have been up to 512 years old. Age estimates come with a degree of uncertainty, but even the lowest estimate of 272 years still makes them the longest-living vertebrates on Earth.

The 10 longest living animals on Earth

5. Tubular worms, over 300 years

Tubular worms are long-lived invertebrates in the cold, stable environment of the deep sea. A 2017 study published in the journal Science Nature found that Escarpia laminata, a tubeworm that lives on the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico, typically lives up to 200 years, and some samples live more than 300 years.

Tubular worms have a low mortality rate due to few natural threats that have helped them evolve to have such a long lifespan.

The 10 longest living animals on Earth 

6. Ocean clam Quahog, over 500 years

The oceanic Quahog clam (Arctica islandica) lives in the North Atlantic Ocean. This saltwater clam can live longer than freshwater mussels. According to the National Museum of Wales in England, an oceanic Quahog clam found off the coast of Iceland in 2006 is 507 years old.

An ancient clam is nicknamed Ming because it was born in 1499 when the Ming dynasty ruled China (from 1368 to 1644).

The 10 longest living animals on Earth

7. Black coral, more than 4,000 years

Corals look like colorful underwater rocks and plants, but they're actually made up of an invertebrate exoskeleton known as a polyp. These polyps continuously multiply and replace themselves by creating a genetically identical copy, which over time causes the coral's exoskeleton structure to grow larger and larger.

Therefore, corals are made up of many identical organisms rather than a single organism, like the Greenland shark or the ocean Quahog mussel. Corals can live for hundreds of years or more, but deepwater black corals (Leiopathes sp.) are among the longest living corals. Black coral samples found off the coast of Hawaii have been identified as 4,265 years old, according to Live Science.

The 10 longest living animals on Earth

8. Glass sponge, 10,000 years

Sponges are made up of herds of animals, similar to corals, and can also live for thousands of years. Glass sponges are among the longest living sponges on Earth. Members of this group are commonly found in the deep ocean and have glass-like skeletons, hence the name, according to NOAA.

A 2012 study published in the journal Chemical Geology estimated that a sample of glass sponges belonging to the species Monorhaphis chuni was about 11,000 years old. Other sponge species can live even longer.

The 10 longest living animals on Earth

9. Jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii, immortal

Turritopsis dohrnii are called immortal jellyfish because they have the ability to live forever. Jellyfish begin life as larvae, before living on the seafloor and transforming into polyps. These polyps then give rise to medium-sized free-swimming creatures, or jellyfish. According to the American Museum of Natural History, mature Turritopsis dohrnii are distinctive in that they can turn back into polyps if they are physically injured or starved, and then return. their jellyfish state.

Jellyfish, which are native to the Mediterranean Sea, can repeat the feat of reversing their life cycle many times over and so may never die of old age under the right conditions, according to the Natural History Museum. in London. Turritopsis dohrnii is very small - less than 4.5 mm, and is eaten by other animals such as fish or may otherwise die, thus preventing them from actually achieving immortality.

The 10 longest living animals on Earth

10. The Hydra, Immortal

Hydras are a group of small invertebrates with mollusks that look a bit like jellyfish. Like Turritopsis dohrnii, the Hydra also has the potential to live forever. Live Science says that hydra levels show no signs of decreasing with age.

The 10 longest living animals on Earth

Con Hydra

These invertebrates are largely made up of stem cells, which continuously regenerate through duplication or cloning. Hydras don't live forever in the wild because of threats like predators and disease, but without these external threats, they can be immortal.