You are considered to have lived long in the human world, once you hit the age of 90 years or more. However, this age is categorised as baby years in the animal kingdom. Most of these creatures have been alive for so long that we see them as living fossils since they are direct relatives of dinosaurs.
We have looked into some of these creatures that still roam the earth but are older than even our great great grandparents. Animals that have been existing since the human species took over dominance.
They still live, walk and swim among us and here is a list of old animals that still roam the earth.
1. Tuatara, over 110 years old
Tautaras are small reptiles that are common in New Zealand. They look a lot like lizards but are in fact, direct descendants of dinosaurs that roamed the earth millions of years ago. Although, these species are currently classified endangered, but are known for their remarkable longevity and can live longer than 110 years.
2. Orange roughy, 149 years old
The orange roughy is amazingly a slow-growing species that live very long. The oldest recorded orange roughy is about 149 years old, but due to over fishing, it is currently classified as endangered.
3. Geoduck, 168 years old
The geoduck is large clam commonly found on the west coast of North America. It is covered by a small shell in contrast to the soft regions of its body. This means it is difficult to hide its full body in itself.
They are also very reproductive; as female geoducks produce more than 5 billion eggs in their lifetime. This isn’t impossible because the oldest geoduck has been documented to live have lived for about 168 years.
4. A red sea urchin, around 200 years old
The Red Sea urchin is a classic example of old animals that roam the earth. It can be found in the Pacific Ocean, and it dwells in the rocky side of the sea, away from strong wavy areas. Sea urchins are covered by very sharp spines that protect them from intruders while crawling on the ocean beds. They age very slow and can even live as long as 200 years old.
5. Bowhead whale, 211years old
The bowhead whale isn’t as famous as the blue whale, but this species has some outstanding features that make it unique. Apart from having the most massive mouth in the animals, it can also live for over 200 years. This makes them the oldest living marine animal. Currently, the oldest bowhead recorded was 211 years old. These animals don’t come to play.
6. Koi fish, 226 years old
Koi fish generally live up to 50 years, however; a scarlet koi fish known as Hanako was the longest living fish ever. She died when she was 226 years old, and it still surprises people how a fish can live for that long.
A lot of people maintain that Hanako lived that long because she was left to enjoy herself in the waters of the mountains in Japan, while she was well cared for by her owners.
7. Lamellibrachia tube worms, 250 years old
This species of tube worm can be found in the heart of the Gulf of Mexico and can live as long as 250 years. Although they grow very slowly, they can reach amazing lengths of 10-11 ft. They are also known to form a biogenic habitat. They do this by creating a large aggregation of up to hundreds or even thousands of individuals.
8. Aldabra giant tortoise, 255 years old
Giant tortoises are very famous for their amazing life span. However, Adwaita, an Aldabra giant tortoise lived for over 250 years. Some scientists still regard it as the oldest terrestrial being to have ever lived.
9. Freshwater pearl mussels, 280 years old
This water-dwelling creature is a long-living species grow very slowly. This explains why the average life span of a freshwater pearl mussel ranges from 86 to 105 years, but it depends on the quality of water and factors of their environment. The oldest freshwater pearl mussel discovered was about 280 years old. That is almost three centuries!
10. Greenland shark, 400 years old
Asides their intimidating looks, Greenland sharks live long enough that they’ve been classified the oldest known vertebrae on earth. They get so old that they reach full sexual maturity once they are around 150 years old and can live for as long as 400 years old.
11. Ocean quahog, 507 years old
Ocean quahogs are a species of edible clams, a marine bivalve mollusc that can live a very long life. As they grow older, they add one layer to their shell every year.
Ocean quahogs are an exceptional class of creatures that live for very long, and an example is Ming. Ming lived for about 507 years and is still regarded as the highest age among non-colonial species.
12. Antarctic sponge, 1550 years old
The Antarctic sponge is believed by scientists to be able to live for centuries because of the extremely low temperatures in the Antarctic Ocean. This is also the reason for their slow growth pace. It’s been estimated that the oldest known Antarctic sponge specimens are 1,550 years old.
13. Jellyfish, Immortal
This particular class of creature has the ability to regenerate when injured or in crisis. Instead of dying the way other beings would, it would transform its adult cells into younger cells and reverse its ageing process back into polyps stage. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean they can’t die. They can easily be attacked and killed by predators.
If you were to choose a spirit animal that lives very long which would it be? Do you think more long-living species stand the risk of endangerment as a result of humans’ impact on the planet? Please tell us what your thoughts are in the comments.