Most animals on this planet have a limited life span which may get cut off due to factors like diseases, natural influences, predators, destruction of their habitat, hunting, and others. But there are certain animals predisposed to a much more resilient body structure which helps them survive for longer intervals of time. We still have tortoises alive since the times of Charles Darwin. Even sea animals like whales, sponges, etc. have stood the test of time and witnessed historical events like the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the Pirates of those times and much more. In fact, we also have an immortal animal on the list! Check this article out for the animals with the longest life span!
Top 9 Longest Life Span Animals
This is a kind of clam found mainly in the saltwater regions and live for as long as 160 years. They have long necks resembling siphons which can be as long as 1 metre. They belong to the category of molluscs in the animal kingdom. Having extremely long siphons and a hard shell, geoducks are mainly concentrated over the USA and Canada. People harvest these organisms on a large scale for a variety of commercial purposes.
The Tuatara happens to be the only species to be surviving past the 200 million time frame and are metaphorically even compared to dinosaurs owing to their profile of being the longest surviving vertebrates on the planet. They come in the category of reptiles and resemble lizards. They measure upto 80 centimeters and weigh upto 1.3 kilograms. Tuataras possess a well developed photoreceptive apparatus in the form of an eye like structure also referred to as the third eye. This third eye helps settle their circadian rhythm.
7. Red sea urchins
Red sea urchins are believed to be immortal. They are found only in the Pacific Ocean along the Western region of the North American Coast. They are as old as 200 years and are small with spines which play the role of stilts. These organisms are based only in low tide areas and steer clear of wave areas. The spines of the red sea urchins measure around 8 cms and their overall length is 19 cms with the spines growing on a hard shell like structure known as test. They belong to the phylum Echinodermata in the animal kingdom.
6. Bowhead whales
Probably the longest surviving mammal on the planet, Bowhead whales are also known as Arctic whales. On being discovered in water, some of these whales have been found with harpoons, spears and other weapons in their skin dating as far as 200 years ago. The oldest known Bowhead whale aged around 211 years is actually the second biggest mammal after the blue whale.
The bowhead whale came into the endangered species category after widespread hunting and efforts are now underway for its conservation. Also known as Arctic Whale, Greenland Whale and Russian Whale, the bowhead whale thrives in arctic and sub arctic environment.
They are a category of carp but are a more ornamental and domestic variant. These organisms are known to survive for as long as 200 years and have incremental rings of growth on their scales. Mainly found in artificial rock pools and ponds, many varieties of Koi have been here even beforre the USA was formed!
The Koi can adapt to varied climates and terrain and can adjust to any condition. They are an integral component of the food and culture in China and Japan. Now the Koi are aquarium favourites world over.
As mentioned before, tortoises have been the longest surviving vertebrates and mainly the Galapagos tortoise which also happens to be the biggest tortoise has survived for as long as 152 years. These organisms are found everywhere except for the Antarctic region. The Galapagos tortoise have an extra slow metabolism and can sleep for upto 16 hours in a day. They can survive without food or water for almost a year. The archipelago of Galapagos got its name from these very tortoise and Spanish sailors named them after the Spanish acronym meaning tortoise. In fact, the famous 152 year old tortoise named Lonesome George was the ambassador for Equador as the biodiversity of that region inspired Charles Darwin’s evolution theory.
3. Ocean quahog
Also used for commercial purposes, the ocean quahog is a kind of clam and is known to be amongst the oldest species on the basis of research. Ocean quahogs also have concentric incremental growth rings and specimens have been calculated to be as old as 400 years. They have extremely long life.
2. Antarctic sponge
Antarctic Sponges have been here for quite some time with specimens being as old as 1550 years. The low temperatures in the Antarctic marine environment favour the growth of these immobile organisms. These animals have a super slow rate of growth.
Jellyfish are perhaps immortal, and are marine animals with jelly like tentacles and bell for locomotion and capturing prey. They are multi organ species and are present in almost every marine ecosystem in the world. Jellyfish have been here for more than 70 million years. Some of these may be venomous while the others are harmless, with some species being the most venomous of all the animals on Earth. This includes the box jellyfish which can trigger cardiac arrest in a matter of 5 minutes. They have no sensory organs and no well developed nervous system and also lack a spine. They also lack heart and lungs and respire through their skin.
Jellyfish are invertebrates and are composed of 98% water. They respire through diffusion. As a matter of fact jellyfish have nerves on their tentacles for touch temperature reception and photoreception and react through reflex action. They are carnivorous and consume planktons, fish crustaceans and other species of jellyfish. Another remarkable property of jellyfish is their ability to transform from mature stage to immature polyp stage. There is no limit on its longevity and they can avert death in any circumstance and possess amazing regenerative capacity.