10 OLDEST Living Creatures On Earth!
- Published on: 3/30/2020
- Hi, it’s Katrina! From long-living reptiles who have been around since before the time of the dinosaurs to a marine species that can technically live forever, here are ten of the oldest living creatures on Earth.
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The tuatara is an ancient lizard-like reptile species and the last surviving member of the Rhynchocephalia reptilian order. It has a unique “third eye” which is not used for vision, but this eye has a super power! It can somehow detect ultraviolet light.
9. Bowhead Whale
The bowhead whale, which weighs as much as one ton at birth and reaches up to 60 feet (18.3 meters) long and 120,000 pounds (54,431 kg) by adulthood, spends its entire life in frigid northern waters.
8. Hanako The Koi Fish
Hanako is the oldest koi fish that supposedly ever lived. She died in 1977 at the believed age of 226, which means she was born in 1751. Her last owner, Dr. Komei Koshihara, inherited her from the maternal side of his family and kept her in a pond at the foot of a mountain in Japan’s Kamo District.
7. Giant Tortoise
An Aldabra tortoise named Adwaita made headlines in 2006, when he died at 250 years old at a Calcutta zoo. His age was unconfirmed, and the zoo expressed interest in carbon dating his shell, but it’s unknown whether this ever happened. But there are written records that have come with the tortoise over the years.
6. Ming The Clam
Until its death in 2013, a 507-year-old clam named Ming held the world record for the oldest-known invertebrate. Ming, a bivalve mollusc, was likely born around 1499, and is accordingly named after the Chinese dynasty that was in power at the time.
In an ironic twist of fate, researchers accidentally killed Ming, who was picked up from an Icelandic seabed back in 2006, when they opened its shell to try and determine its age.
5. Greenland Shark
The Greenland shark has made countless headlines in recent years as the world’s oldest-living vertebrate, with some publications putting its age at up to 512 years. In a 2016 study, scientists radiocarbon dated the eye lenses of 28 specimens, and found one female to be an estimated 400 years old.
4. 4,000-Year-Old Corals
Back in 2009, scientists verified that deep-sea corals are some of the world’s oldest marine creatures, with the discovery of a 4,265-year-old black coral off the Hawaiian coast. The species in question, Leiopathes sp., is the older of two that the researchers collected. But at an estimated 2,742 years old, the other sample, a gold coral called Gerardia sp., was also found to be impressively ancient.
3. Monorhaphis Chuni
Sponges are simple creatures. They don’t visibly engage in many of the cognitive activities that, in our eyes, identify something as a living being, like communicating and moving freely throughout the environment. But they are, indeed, living organisms, and while their lifespans vary, many sponge species can survive for thousands of years.
2. 42,000-Year-Old Worms
In mid-2018, researchers reported the alleged discovery of two ancient nematodes, or roundworms, who came back to life after spending roughly 40,000 years frozen in the Siberian permafrost and being thawed out in a scientific laboratory. This would make them the oldest living creatures on Earth, and would constitute the longest period an animal has survived being cryogenically frozen.
1. Immortal Jellyfish
Turritopsis dohrnii, also called the immortal jellyfish, is the only known creature that can technically live forever. These tiny creatures, which have up to 90 tentacles, only grow to 0.18 inches (4.5 mm) long.
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