Even though the average human life expectancy is around 100 years, this is a very short period compared to the hundreds of years or even millennia that other animals may live.
Some organisms can even halt or reverse the aging process. Some animal species can live for a century, and many others, depending on their habitats, can survive for considerably longer.
In the wild, animals are subject to dangers that can shorten their lifespans, such as predation, hunting, and the destruction of their natural habitats.
Despite this, there are a few species of animals that have the ability to live for a startlingly long time.
This list will explore 16 animals with the longest lifespan.
Macaws are members of the parrot family, and you can identify them by the brilliant plumage that covers their bodies.
They are one of the animals with the longest lifespan, provided they are kept in the proper conditions and can live anywhere between 60 and 80 years old.
They make the rainforests their home and subsist on a diet consisting of various nuts and seeds.
Due to the destruction of their natural habitats and the illegal trade in pets, most of these stunning birds are at risk of extinction in the wild, and a few have already vanished altogether.
2. African Elephant
Elephants found in Africa are the largest surviving land creatures and one of the oldest, with an average lifespan of 70 years.
The size of the individual and the number of teeth are two of the indicators that professionals can use to determine an individual’s age.
It’s a procedure that demands a lot of experience and keen powers of observation, so get ready!
Around the age of 10 to 12, females become sexually mature, and, in contrast to humans, they may retain their fertility throughout their entire lives.
They might have a total of about seven children amongst all of them. However, being an elephant mother is not a simple job at all.
Their pregnancies endure for a total of 22 months, nearly three times as long as a normal human pregnancy!
3. Longfin Eel
Although the longest-lived longfin eel ever recorded was 106 years old, the average lifespan of this species is only about 60 years, which puts them on this list of animals with the longest lifespan.
They are indigenous to New Zealand and Australia. The longfin eel spends most of its life hidden from predators in the murky waters of freshwater streams, only emerging to reproduce in the ocean when it is time.
They only do this once in their entire existence and then pass away once they spawn.
They are extremely slow-growing animals, expanding by only one to two centimeters per year, yet females can eventually reach lengths ranging from 73 to 156 centimeters.
4. Galapagos Giant Tortoise
It is important to take into consideration not only the size of the Galapagos Giant Tortoises but also their ages, as they are among the animals with the longest lifespan.
They have a life expectancy of well over 100 years, and the oldest one ever recorded was 152 years old! However, the oldest is not necessarily the most well-known.
At one point in time, George was the last Pinta Island Tortoise that still existed on the islands, making him the rarest animal in the world.
He passed away in 2012 when he was close to 100 years old. Like many other species on our list, giant tortoises lead a leisurely lifestyle.
They spend up to 16 hours a day lounging in the sun, eating grass and other plants, and sleeping.
5. Red Sea Urchin
The Red Sea urchins can survive for over 200 years without showing any signs of aging, which has led to the belief that they are basically immortal.
It is far more likely that they will perish from being eaten by a predator than it is that they would perish due to an age-related ailment, and an individual who is 100 years old is just as healthy and able to breed as a younger individual.
Radiocarbon dating is a technique that involves determining the age of an object by analyzing its level of carbon-14. These spiny echinoderms can be radiocarbon dated.
6. Koi Fish
Although the typical lifespan of a Japanese Koi is roughly 40 years, these fish have survived even longer than that under the correct conditions.
When she passed away in 1977, a particular koi that went by the moniker “Hanako” had reached the remarkable age of 226.
By counting the growth rings in her scales, the researchers were able to make an educated guess as to her age.
7. Bowhead Whale
The bowhead whale is notable in our compilation of animals with the longest lifespan.
The lifespan of the bowhead whale, at approximately 200 years, is significantly longer than any other mammal’s.
However, it can be challenging to determine their ages because they spend their entire lives in arctic and subarctic environments.
This is because they can outlive the researchers who examine them. A fragment of a harpoon found in the blubber of a trapped animal can serve as a basis for an age estimate.
In the case of one individual, the harpoon bits were so old that they dated back to the 1800s.
Using DNA as a second method to determine lifetime, researchers have shown that bowhead whales may reach the ripe old age of 268!
8. Greenland Shark
Greenland sharks hold a remarkable record when discussing animals with the longest lifespan, with an estimated lifespan of between 300 and 500 years.
They move relatively leisurely, clocking in at an average of 0.76 miles per hour.
They mature sexually between the ages of 100 and 150 years old, even though they grow roughly one centimeter every year — that’s one lengthy childhood!
However, despite the enormous size of these sharks and the fact that they live for a very long time, they have remained a mystery to scientists for many years.
Radiocarbon dating of the eye’s lens is a relatively new technique for determining an individual’s age.
This technique was only very recently found. Each year, additional tissues are introduced to the lens, and the amount of carbon isotope that is present in the lens’s tissues determines how old the lens is.
9. Ocean Quahog
Ocean Quahogs are a type of clam that may be consumed and have a remarkable lifetime.
The oldest one on record was 507 years old when people caught it off the coast of Iceland in 2006, and many will live to see their 400th birthdays.
The scientists calculated the age by counting the growth rings on the shell, which is comparable to how we calculate the age of trees.
They also can discover further facts. How the shells develop through time reveals to scientists how the oceans have evolved over the course of time — they are a living thing and a depiction of life on a planet that is always changing.
10. Immortal Jellyfish
Can you imagine being immortal? Imagine reaching old age, but you were reborn as a young child instead of passing away. How would that feel? It is very much like real life for the immortal jellyfish.
These incredible animals begin their lives as larvae in the ocean, referred to as planula. Planula swims around in the water.
After this, they become immobile polyps on the ocean floor before undergoing the metamorphosis that leads to the formation of a swimming medusa.
So far, so normal. However, suppose at any point in their life cycle, immortal jellyfish suffer damage or stress as a result of changes in their environment.
In that case, they have the ability to regress to the polyp stage and begin their life cycle all over again.
And if they get the chance, they can continue doing this repeatedly. However, many of them won’t since they end up being eaten by other creatures.
11. Geoduck Clam
There have been reports that these enormous saltwater clams have a lifespan of more than 165 years, making them one of the animals with the longest lifespan.
Geoducks (Panopea generosa) exhibit rapid growth throughout their first years of life, gaining more than an inch per year, on average, in their first four years.
This allows them to reach their full adult size in the first four years.
Geoducks, distinguished by the length of their “necks” or siphons, can reach a length of more than three feet, even though their shells rarely extend beyond eight inches.
The native range of the geoduck extends from California to Alaska in the Pacific Northwest.
Tuatara is the sole living representative of the order Sphenodontia, which was at the height of its diversity approximately 200 million years ago.
Some of these lizard-like reptiles can survive for more than 100 years, making them one of the animals with the longest lifespan on the planet. Scientists refer to them as “living fossils.”
Tuataras are endemic to New Zealand and achieve sexual maturity between the ages of 10 and 20 years. However, they continue to mature until they are 35 to 40 years old.
13. Lamellibrachia Tube Worm
The lifespan of these brightly colored deep-sea critters ranges from 170 to 250 years. On the ocean floor, they make their home in the vicinity of hydrocarbon cold seep vents.
The Lamellibrachia is a creature that is exclusive to vents because it matures very slowly throughout its life and can reach a length of more than six feet.
You can find it across the Atlantic Ocean, but it is most common in the shallower parts of the Gulf of Mexico basin.
14. American lobster
There are species of lobster that can live for an incredibly long time.
Because of the low temperatures in its natural habitat, the American lobster has a potential lifespan of at least a century.
The American lobster has a slow metabolism due to the cold waters of the Atlantic, which enables it to mature more slowly and live for a long period if it can avoid being eaten by predators.
Most albatross species live for at least 50 years and devote a greater portion of their time and energy to raising a smaller number of chicks.
Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, was tagged as an adult in 1956 and hatched another baby in February 2021, putting her at least 70 years old.
She holds the record for the oldest albatross ever documented, a Laysan albatross.
The cockatoo is the last mention on our list of animals with the longest lifespan. Depending on the species, the typical lifespan of a cockatoo is from fifty to seventy years.
Cockatoos are a type of bird known to form close ties with humans when kept as pets.
There are numerous species of cockatoos, each of which resides in Australia and the islands surrounding Oceania, such as Malaysia and the Philippines.