The life of humans on the planet can be considered short if we compare it with the lifespans that some animals have. While humans have an average life expectancy of 72 years according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are some creatures on the planet who are immortal and some can live up to thousands of years. Scientists are trying to find out why some animals live so long, trying to unravel their mysteries and hope to be able to use this knowledge to extend the human lifespan. Here is a list of some of the longest living animals:
1. Turritopsis dohrnii
The jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii has no brain and heart and is considered the only immortal creature on Earth; it lives in tropical waters. As scientists have proved, such jellyfish do not die of old age, living up to a certain age, they begin to get younger and return to their original stage. And from the stage of a young individual, she again begins to develop. Fortunately, there is no limit to the number of times they can do this! Thus, a creature can live an infinite number of cycles. Such jellyfish die, most often, due to predators or diseases. Sponges have this incredible longevity thanks to their slow growth and generally cold water environment.
2. Antarctic sponge
The Antarctic sponge holds the record for the longevity of its kind. The creature lives in arctic cold waters. Every year the sponge grows by 0.2 mm, while it lives at a depth of about 200 m, where sunlight practically does not penetrate. By reducing the metabolic process, the Antarctic sponge can live upto 5,000 to 15,000 years.
3. Red Sea Urchin
Next on the list is Red Sea Urchin, a sea creature, which is native to the Pacific Ocean, mostly found along the west coast of North America. These creatures live in shallow areas, mostly near rocky ones where low tides reach 90m. They can also be seen crawling along the ocean floor with the help of their spines. In addition to its size and spines, the giant red sea urchin stands out as one of the longest-living animals, as it can reach up to 200 years.
4. Koi Fish
Koi carps are small ornamental domesticated fish. The oldest fish of the koi carp species died at the age of 226 years in Japan in 1977, on average, these fish live 40-50 years. The homeland of this subspecies of common carp is China, but this fish gained more popularity in Japan, where they are intensively grown. The Japanese gave the name Hanako to one well-known centenarian. At first, koi carps were eaten, later they began to be kept at home as ornamental fish.
5. Giants Galapagos Tortoise
Giant Galapagos tortoises are endemic to the famous Galapagos Islands archipelago and have always been considered one of the longest living creatures on Earth and rightfully so, as they are the vertebrates with the longest lifespan, averaging 200 years. In 2006, a male tortoise named Adwaita died at the age of 255 at Alipore Zoological Gardens of Kolkata. He lived on a diet of wheat bran, carrots, lettuce, soaked gram (chickpea), bread, grass and salt. It is said that this male tortoise weighing upto 250 kg of Algebra species was gifted to Lord Clive, the founder of the British Empire in India. The average lifespan of these tortoises is upto 150-250 years.
This is a type of giant tubeworm that is a type of marine annelid (earthworm), which lives on the seabed near hydrocarbons leaking out of the seafloor. Its length can exceed three meters, and the species can live over 250 years.
7. Bowhead Whale
The credit for being the longest-living mammal on the planet goes to the bowhead whale, also known as the Arctic whale. Many of them are believed to be over 200 years old, while the oldest known of them is 211 years old. Bowhead whales have a gene in their body, which is called ERCC1 that keeps on repairing the damaged DNA in the body. Therefore, these fish do not have terrible diseases like cancer, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and metabolic. They grow upto 60 feet (18.3 m) and 200,000 pounds (91 tons) and eat around 220,000 pounds (100 tons) of food a year.
8. Greenland Shark
The Greenland shark lives deep in the Arctic Ocean belonging to the somnios family. The sharks grow about 0.5 to 1 cm a year and can grow up to 24 feet long and can live in water and the only shark that can tolerate Arctic temperatures year round with a temperature of 7 to -2 degrees. This is very strange since most sharks are thermophilic. The animal lives upto 100-200 years, which is the greatest indicator for sharks. The creature is not picky about food, it eats any living creatures. The maximum age of the Greenland shark that could be determined is 392 years. The studies were carried out using radiocarbon testing of the lens of the eye. The Greenland shark is probably the longest-lived vertebrate animal.
9. Rougheye rockfish
Rougheye rockfish is one of the largest living fish. It lives for at least 205 years. This light pinkish-brown fish is found in the Pacific Ocean from California to Japan. It can grow up to 38 inches long. Along with this, the danger of extinction has also increased on this species, in view of which many campaigns have also been run.
The tuatara is one of the species that has inhabited the Earth for over 200 million years. The tuatara lives on the small islands of New Zealand and they grow very slowly. This small animal leads only a nocturnal lifestyle. The lizard lives upto 60 years but they can live over 100 years in captivity, reaching a length of 76 cm. Also, the animal represents beak-headed, while it is the only living representative of this order today. Outwardly, the reptile resembles a large iguana. The lizard is distinguished by the presence of a “third eye” on the crown, although in an adult it is overgrown with scales.
11. Asian Elephant
These elephants live in Asian countries, India, Pakistan, Laos, Nepal and Thailand. This mammal is the second largest among elephants. The animal grows up to 3.5 m and reaches a weight of 5 tons. In adults, there are no enemies in nature, except for humans who have long used Indian elephants as a labour force. In the wild, elephants live for 60-70 years, domesticated animals in a comfortable environment live up to 80 years.
Chengalloor Dakshayani was the oldest elephant in the world died at the age of 88 in February 2019 owned by Travancore Devaswom Board and kept at the Chengalloor Mahadeva Temple in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, India. The oldest female Asian elephant actively participated in city festivals, religious ceremonies and processions, and, despite her advanced years, did an excellent job and felt good. However, in the last years of her life, she ceased to be active and no longer took part in public events.
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Credit: TIMES OF INDIA.