Human life expectancy, in general, is increasing, but we are not approaching the years that some animals can live. Yes, there are animals that live more than 100 years, even many more. Surely, turtles come to mind, as there was a well-known one that was called “lonely George” and currently, the turtle “Jonathan” still lives and is older than the previous one. Longevity records are not easy to measure, but science has already shown that there are several species that can leave us speechless, especially in the oceans.
The immortal jellyfish
As we will see below, most animal species that are astonishingly long-lived live in water, especially in the oceans. Thus, we find in the seas the animal that lives the longest , since we can even consider it immortal, it is the jellyfish Turritopsis Nutrula and Turritopsis dohrnii , which, in fact, are known by the common name of immortal jellyfish .
It is a hydromedusa, since it does not reach even 5 mm in diameter, which inhabits all oceans, although it is considered that its origin is in the Caribbean seas. At the moment, it is considered the only animal that can rejuvenate itself , as it can return to its younger state whenever it needs it.
After having met an animal that can be considered immortal, it may surprise us little, but how about living 11,000 years ? This is the time that, for the moment, we know that sea sponges can live . That’s right, another marine animal that has a really long life, because let’s not forget that sea sponges are animals, even if they look like some kind of aquatic plant.
It has been proven that, generally, marine sponges live for thousands of years, although it can be a very variable number, and that one of the Monorhaphis chuni species was found that lived to 11,000 years.
There are species of clams that are gigantic and are capable of living for hundreds of years. The oceanic giant clams , such as photo, can become an incredibly large, even more than the image, and can have different shapes, colors and textures, because they stick all kinds of organisms in symbiosis .
The best example to understand how long the giant oceanic clams can live is the famous Ming, a giant clam that scientific researchers found and began to study, discovering that it lived 507 years , the cause of its death being the moment they tried to remove it from the ocean to study it.
This age is extraordinary even for this species, since the average life expectancy of giant clams is approximately 225 years .
This time we are talking about a freshwater animal: Koi carp . They are the most popular fish in Asian cultures, such as China and Japan. Koi are fresh and cold water fish that adapt very well to various types of conditions, they are very hardy and can grow quite large.
These fish can live for many years, but the Koi carp that lived the longest reached 226 years and died in 1997.
The Greenland boreal whale ( Balaena mysticetus ) held the record for the longest living marine vertebrate, as they can live for 200 years or more. However, a few years ago, scientists discovered that there is another vertebrate animal in this area of the planet that surpasses it. It is the Greenland shark ( Somniosus microcephalus ), of which it has been discovered that it can live up to 400 years .
Leaving the water behind, on land we find giant tortoises that are other animals that can become very old. These animals that can weigh up to 250 kg and on average live between 100 and 130 years .
There are several species of giant tortoises, such as those of the Seychelles and those of the Galapagos. Among the giant tortoises of the Seychelles we find “the lonely George” who died in 2012 with an age that exceeded a century of life and the still alive “Jonathan”. Jonathan the tortoise is the oldest today, still alive at the age of 182 and living in the governor’s mansion on the island of St. Helena.
There was also a giant tortoise in India, called Adwaita, which was estimated to have lived 250 years and died in 2006 in the Seychelles, but its longevity is not scientifically proven.
To finish with the list of which animals live the longest, we comment that the tuátaras or sphenodonts are a species considered a living fossil. Although it is related to iguanas, it is actually quite distantly related. They are reptiles that coexisted with dinosaurs and continue to inhabit the planet, specifically we can find them in New Zealand.
Today, the oldest tuátara is 117 years old and the life expectancy of these reptiles is just over a century.
To finish, we comment on a fact that is just as curious as the previous ones. If we were wondering which animals live the longest, surely, at some point, we have also wondered which animals live a short time. The answer is that mayflies , insects related to dragonflies and damselflies, are the animals that live the least , in fact their name gives us a very clear idea. The truth is that until they complete their larval phase they can live for years, but once they become adults, that is, when they begin to relate more with the environment and with each other, they really live little.
Specifically, these insects, also called ephemeroptera or bludgeon, do not usually live 24 hours . In addition, there is a species, the American Dolania , of which the females live less than five minutes.