Oldest-Living Creatures on Earth
The Earth has been around for roughly 4.5 billion years. In that time, many creatures have appeared and disappeared. The dinosaurs, for example, the dodo, the mammoth and the saber-toothed tiger are now extinct. In fact, many living creatures face extinction every day, without our even knowing! Even so, many animals continue to thrive and even go on to a live long time, some for much longer than we do.
Here are some examples of the world’s oldest living specimens of animals.
Oldest Living Individuals in an Animal Species — Sea Sponge
Forget Sponge Bob. Sea sponges are remarkable multi-celled organisms made of a jelly-like substance. They are porous and hollow, which means they have no internal organs, no nervous system, no digestive system and no circulatory system. How do they survive? They simply maintain a constant flow of water, absorbing food and oxygen from the water around them. A few sea sponges are carnivorous (which means they catch animal prey), using sticky threads or hooks.
A sea sponge is capable of being either male or female, although it’s committed to playing only one of those roles at a given time. Also (how cool is this?), if a part of it breaks off and drifts away, that part can attach to a surface and become a new sea sponge.
Sea sponges have been around for 580 million years, and some even claim for about 650 to 700 million years. Today, sea sponges are found in oceans all over the world, even in the polar seas, most of them attached to rocks on the ocean floor. Some sea sponges live just for a year, but others can be up to 200 years old!
25 of the Deepest Sea Creatures
Oldest Living Tortoise — Jonathan
Turtles in general, and tortoises in particular, are one of the longest living animals on Earth. What is the lifespan of a tortoise? It depends on the species, but they can live from thirty to over a hundred years.
Currently, the world’s oldest living tortoise is believed to be a Seychelles giant tortoise named Jonathan, who was brought from the Seychelles to the island of St. Helena in 1882. He is said to have been born in 1832, which makes it 183 years old in 2015!
Jonathan, however, is still young in tortoise terms. The oldest tortoise that we’re sure about is a Madagascar radiated tortoise, called Tui Malila, who reached a ripe old age of 189 years. Another tortoise, an Aldabra giant from India named Adwaita, is believed to have been 255 years old at its death in 2006. However, this has yet to be confirmed.
For more on Turtles and Tortoises:
101 Turtle Facts
Green Sea Turtles
Common Snapping Turtles
Alligator Snapping Turtle
Oldest Living Dog — Bluey
The longest-lived dog on record is an Australian cattle dog named Bluey from Australia. He was 29 years and 5 months old when he was put to sleep. Max, a terrier cross from Louisiana, was 29 years and 10 months old when he died in 2013, but was not recognized by Guinness.
Today, it is unsure who the world’s oldest living dog is. However, Marvin, who is a cross between a Chihuahua and a fox terrier, is making the claim at 22 years old.
Small dog breeds are generally longer-lived than large dog breeds, as long as they do not get injured or sick, which can happen easily because of their small bodies. The Chihuahua, Yorkshire terrier, Pomeranian and Dachshund can live from 12 to 20 years old.
For more about Dogs:
The Daily Dog – Facts
101 Facts – Wild Dogs, Wolves and Foxes
Top 10 Smallest Dog Breeds In The World
10 Largest Dog Breeds in the World
Unusual Dog Breeds – A Top 10
What Is The Smartest Breed Of Dog?
Funny Dog Videos
Cute Dog Videos
Oldest Living Cat — Tiffany Two
As of October 2014, Tiffany Two from San Diego was 26 years old. That makes her the oldest cat around, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Before her, the record was held by Poppy who hailed from Bournemouth in the UK, who reached the age of 24. That is still far from the record held by the world’s oldest cat ever, though, who lived to be 38 years. The record belongs to Crème Puff from Austin, Texas.
There are, however, other cats who claim to be the oldest, such as Pinky from Lincolnshire, reported to be 28 years old, and Cola from Kent who was born in 1985.
Oldest Living Fish — The Coelacanth
Coelacanths have been around for at least 400 million years. They are so old that they were once believed to be extinct. Imagine the wonder of the scientists who discovered that it still has two living species — the African coelacanth, discovered off the coast of South Africa in the West Indian Ocean, and the Indonesian coelacanth, found off the island of Sulawesi.
It is believed that coelacanths can live to be over a hundred years old. Their age is not the only thing that makes coelacanths remarkable. These fishes have thick scales that act like a tough armor, mouths that can open extremely wide to catch prey, a tube-shaped heart and a large swim bladder. They rest in underwater caves and at night, hunt other fish.
Sadly, coelacanths are currently endangered and it is not sure how long they can keep up the fight against true extinction.
Oldest Living Bird — Cookie
Currently, the record for the world’s oldest living bird is held by a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo named Cookie, who is believed to be 80 years old as of September 2014. Parrots, in general, are the longest-lived birds. Even the smallest parrots, the budgerigars, can live up to 20 years, which is long considering it is only about 7 inches (18 centimeters) long. Black rats, in comparison, which are about the same size, live for only a year.
What makes parrots among the animals that live the longest? Parrots have few predators in the wild and few illnesses in captivity. They are also usually well-cared-for in captivity, and in the wild, they live in groups and are able to find food most of the time.
Oldest Living Elephant — Packy
The elephant is another long-lived animal. It can live up to 70 years old.
Packy, an Asian elephant at the Oregon Zoo, is currently 52 years old. He is the oldest male Asian elephant in North America, and some believe he may be the oldest elephant in captivity. Of course, there may be undocumented older elephants in the wild.
101 Facts… Elephants! Elephant Book
Oldest Living Killer Whale — Granny
Killer whales are the ocean’s top predators and, since they’re at the top of the food chain, they tend to live long lives. The fact that they live in groups (called pods) also contributes to their long lifespan, since they work together to survive. Normally, killer whales live from 60 to 80 years.
Granny, however, is beyond that. She is estimated to be 103 years old. Granny belongs to the population of southern resident killer whales in the northern Pacific Ocean. Sadly, this population is now endangered.
Killer whales are also featured in the following books:
25 Most Deadly Animals in the World
25 Top Predators in the World Book
25 Whales, Dolphins and other Sea Mammals
25 Polar Animals
101 Dolphin Facts
101 Facts… Polar Animals
Oldest Living Human — Misao Okawa
We, humans are also long-lived — right, we make the list! In terms of countries, Japan is number one in terms of life expectancy. Japanese women, in particular, are expected to live past 87 years.
Misao Okawa is a fine example. She was born in 1898 — the last Japanese alive to have been born in the 1800s — and is currently 116 years old. She is recognized as the oldest living person and oldest living woman in the world.
Leandra Becerra Lumberas, a woman from Brazil, claims to be older, at 127 years old. She has lost her birth certificate, though, and so is not recognized.
The record for the human to have lived the longest belongs to Jeanne Calment from France. She lived to an age of 127 years.
Interview | Misao Okawa The Oldest Woman Living 2014 From Japan Osaka In Her 116Th Birthday – MP4 HD
Do you want to know about other animals that live a long time? Here is a list of some animals and their lifespans:
Carp — 50 to 100 years
Lake sturgeon — 50 to 150 years
Crocodile — 70 to 100 years
Dugong — 50 to 70 years
Hippo — 50 to 55 years
Echidna, Rhino, Walrus & Gorilla — 40 to 50 years
Bear — 30 to 50 years
Camel — 30 to 40 years
American bison — 30 years
Sea otter — 30 years
What do you know?
Think you remember what you’ve read? Try out the Oldest Living Creatures on Earth Quiz!
NEW RECORD for OLDEST ANIMAL EVER!