Evolution has always been taking out and bringing in new species, according to the circumstances given. Some species have completely died off, such as the wooly mammoth, saber tooth tigers, and dinosaurs.

A couple of reasons why these now-extinct species wound up dying off was primarily due to a lack of resources needed and their ability to adapt.

However, there are some living animals that are still existent today, despite going through some of the harshest living conditions the planet threw their way.

These animals were either strong enough to endure the harsh circumstances, develop their ability to adapt or were smart enough to form alliances with their own kind and defeat predators, danger, and any challenges that were to come their way.

We, humans, were able to live this long and conquer Earth because of our intelligence, ability to overcome endeavors, ability to form bonds with one another, cooperate, and other types of intelligence such as tool use.

Although it’s different when precisely measuring or quantifying which animal has lived the longest, it’s safe to say that this list of the 10 longest living animals in the world will give you an idea of what kind of animals have been able stick around throughout the centuries.

Some of these animals have lived for a very long time and can outlive humans by up to a few centuries!

Some of these animals are even believed to have lived for many centuries and others believe that some animals, especially in the sea, have the possibility of possessing immortality, such as the Turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish.

10 Bowhead Whale

Although the bowhead whale is not the most famous nor impressive whale, it does have the longest life span of all.

They typically live in arctic and sub-arctic waters with 50 to 60 feet in length and around 100 tons. This creature is not only believed to be one of the oldest living whales but one of the oldest living and surviving mammals of all time.

The oldest ever bowhead whale is believed to have been as old as 211 years old. They are known to be the immortals of the arctic, while although they are heavily attacked by commercial whalers, they are still the longest living mammal on the planet and can easily outlive humans and other whales.

The theory behind their long life span is believed to be the deep sea gigantism and the abundance of resources they have. This long living mammal is definitely one of the most interesting whales and science has yet to decipher their power in life longevity.

9 Koi

Known for their decorative look, Koi is believed to be one of the oldest living animals in Japan.

The usual age for koi is up to 70 years and some of the species can reach up to 225 years such as the “Hanako” koi. They are known to be some of the oldest living domesticated animals.

The reason for their long life span remains to be a deep mystery, but some suggest that it’s because of their variety in color, size, and location.

Another likely theory is the fact that they live in groups and the only reason why they live so long is because humans like having them as pets which provides them with all of the necessary nutrients for survival.

There are myths about koi living as old as their humans in Japan since the carp has a deep heritage and history connected to Japan.

8 Tuataras

This lizard-resembling creature has a long history and connection to extinct dinosaurs, despite being only two and a half feet in size when compared alongside larger dinosaurs.

A famous Tuatara named Henry has become a father at the age of 110 years old, helping in the creation of 11 tuataras. He’s still living today at age 117 years old in the southland museum of New Zealand.

Science has yet to discover the reason behind their long life span and some believe that old age is something that dinosaurs had. The fact that Henry grew to be 117 years old is mostly due to the fact that he is cared for by the zoo in New Zealand, but the species itself is known to live very long, and in the case of Henry, even outliving their caretakers.

Unfortunately, tuataras are believed to be one of the most endangered species living in New Zealand. Really giving you the feeling that tuataras truly are living dinosaurs.

7 Red Sea Urchin

The red sea urchin is the largest of all sea urchins and is known for also being the longest living.

This small spiny sea creature has one of the most interesting capabilities. It can detect predators, through its long reach of spines, detecting the deep sea waves. The red sea urchin, once thought to live for only seven to ten years has been shown to live up to 200 years with very little diseases or predators.

They are Pacific Ocean residents and some of the oldest living red sea urchins are located between Vancouver and the U.S. waters. They live up to ten times longer, depending on the water quality, temperature, and predators surrounding them.

There are some red sea urchins in Southern California which were shown to have lived approximately 50 years. Meanwhile, those found in Canada can live up to 200 years, and can be found in British Columbia and Vancouver.

6 Greenland Shark

The Greenland shark is believed to be one of the oldest living animals on the sea.

Some believe that the secret to the Greenland sharks’ life span may be due to their slow growth rate which is only 1 or two centimeters per year.

A study that estimated the age of some Greenland sharks discovered that the specimen they were holding could’ve lived from 227 years up to 500 years, making them one of the longest-lived vertebrate on our Earth.

Although their growth rate is considerably low, they can grow up to 24 feet and 2,500 pounds on average.

They swim deep in the ocean in some of the coldest climates and some believe that this is one of the reasons why they can grow so large and live so long.

This is the theory of deep-sea gigantism, where animals have the tendency to grow larger and older the deeper they’re found in the ocean.

5 Hydra

The hydra are believed to be one of those age freaks that scientists have been able to discover.

They are fresh-water organisms from the phylum Cnidaria and Hydrozoa class and are believed to be one of the oldest living organisms.

While research has been somewhat inconsistent, scientists believe that they don’t show any signs of deterioration due to age except for the cases where disease was involved.

They have a genetic composition that is close to perfect when it comes to stem cell regeneration and cell division. Their genetic components allow them to have a perfect body for a long age and a very high chance of immortal status.

This is because hydra can always regenerate and renew their body with new cells. Although scientists have not yet found a hydra that has lived forever, history will show how long these creatures can live.

The fact of the matter is that hydra can be one of the few ways humans can understand cell regeneration and perfect stem cell research.

4 Tortoises

The Galapagos giant tortoise and the Aldabra tortoise are believed to be one of the oldest living animals on the surface.

They can live up to 152 and even 186 when it comes to the Aldabra tortoise. They are not only one of the oldest living animals, but also one of the biggest in their respected species, coming in at around 5 feet in length and 500 pounds in weight.

These animals are one of the most fascinating when it comes to their development and old age. In fact, there is a tortoise that was believed to have lived in the 1700s and died in 2006.

Their survival has been in decline since there are only 10 different species living now, while there have been up to 15 in the eighteenth century.

Their life is constantly threatened by nearby predators, humans, and even cattle blocking their food supply. Fortunately, scientists have been working on giving a better chance of life to these old-living tortoises by allowing them to mate and recover their species safely.

3 Ocean Quahog

The ocean quahog might be easily the oldest living animal in the sea.

Their age can be checked by their dark rings around their shells, which can be a great indicator of age. Carbon dating has found that a shell of the quahog named Ming has lived for over 500 years and was named after the Chinese dynasty, which was in power during the time it was alive.

A specific species known as arctica icelandica, native to the waters of Iceland is believed to be the oldest living quahog. This quahog is believed to be live between 405 to 410 years on average.

It’s very hard to know the exact reason why Ming lived to be over 500 years, because when researchers opened the shell, they effectively killed it.

The reason for their survival is thought to be due to the protection that the shell provides them in the deep sea waters. Researchers do believe that there could be an ocean quahog older than Ming captured by fishermen.

2 Sponges

Sponges are water creatures that reside relatively deep in the water and they are believed to be the absolute oldest living animal on the planet.

Scientists believe that this animal could be the oldest living form of life, with the sea sponge known as “Monorhaphis chuni” living up to 11,000 years!

They are much different than other animals in the sense that they have tubes and channels that let the water and nutrients flow inside their bodies, with this being one of the main ways they’re able to obtain oxygen.

Sponges are actually believed to have emerged around 650 million years ago. The very reason behind their survival is very hard to determine, because they don’t have a particularly interesting feature that allows them fight off predators or protect themselves.

Researchers do believe that this is the oldest living life form on the planet and more research on their bodies and habitats can help us find better answers as to why they’ve been able to live for so long.

1 Immortal Jellyfish

This species of jellyfish could be found in the Mediterranean Sea as well as waters around Japan.

Though the hydra has shown signs of cell regeneration for a vast amount of time, there hasn’t been enough evidence to classify it as the one and only immortal animal.

The immortal jellyfish is the only animal on the planet that has been officially classified as immortal. They have one of the most unique abilities, since they can simply revert back to their younger stage over and over again, without any difficulty.

Turritopsis dohrnii is the name of the immortal jellyfish and it can reach around 5mm in size when it’s fully grown, but it becomes much smaller when it reverts back to its premature stage.

The only way that the immortal jellyfish can die is if it has been exposed to a disease that it has ingested into its jelly or if an animal eats it.

They are the center of attention when it comes to stem cell research since they’re believed to be the key in learning how we can regrow limbs, regenerate cells, and defeat cancer.

Our knowledge of animals is still in its infancy stages. We have only been able to determine some species that have lived for a vast amounts of time and we are still discovering new animals every year, especially deep within the seas.

The science behind the long life span of some of these animals is still very fascinating and can be looked as a gateway to understanding complex questions, such as why creatures die despite being healthy and how such long life spans are being achieved.

This could also be viable in the medical industry if it allows for us to treat cancer, regrow limbs and perhaps even extend our own life spans.

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