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The 10 Longest Living Animals

Curious about The 10 Longest Living Animals?

You know, in the grand scheme of things, us humans have got the short end of the longevity stick. We’re over here, celebrating our centenary like it’s a big deal, while some animals are just chilling for hundreds or even thousands of years. Talk about slow and steady wins the race!
Explore the oldest living animal on record with our dedicated article!

Some creatures can even slow or reverse the aging process.

Click below to jump to any section on the top 10 longest-living animals:

Key Points

Box Jellyfish kill humans
AnimalLifespanNotable Fact
Immortal JellyfishIndefiniteOfficially the only immortal creature
Sea SpongeThousands of yearsSurvive in deep ocean, away from storms
Ocean QuahogAt least 200 yearsSlow developers, start reproducing at six years old
Greenland SharkOver 400 yearsLongest-living vertebrate, survives in Arctic waters
Bowhead WhaleOver 200 yearsWorld’s longest-living mammal, Arctic dwellers
Red Sea UrchinOver 100 years, some 200+ yearsSurvive in harsh environments, some live over 400 years
Rough-Eyed RockfishAlmost 200 yearsIdeal for studying genetics of longevity
Freshwater Mussel PearlLong-lived, susceptible to changesValuable bioindicators for environmental health
Tube WormOver 300 yearsSymbiotic relationship with bacteria, no predators
Galapagos Giant TortoiseOver a century, some up to 175One of the longest-lived land vertebrates

#1 Immortal Jellyfish

Scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery of a jellyfish capable of indefinite life. They officially recognize Turritopsis dohrnii, the Immortal Jellyfish, as the sole immortal creature. This extraordinary phenomenon involves the born-again polyp colony eventually blossoming and releasing medusae genetically akin to the damaged adult, creating an uncanny semblance of immortality. Since scientists stumbled upon this phenomenon in the 1990s, they affectionately named the species “the immortal jellyfish.”

This jellyfish is an impressive contender on our Top 10 longest living Animals list.

#2 Sea Sponge

Corals, sponges, and other organisms living deep in the ocean are protected from temperature changes and intense storms that can and frequently do kill animals in shallower seas.

As a result, they’ve evolved to live longer lives because they’re less likely to be injured by accident.

Sponge longevity estimates vary widely but are frequently in the thousands of years.

#3 Ocean Quahog

Top 10 longest living Animals: quahog

Ocean quahogs are among the most long-lived aquatic invertebrates on our planet. These remarkable creatures can endure for over 200 years in the waters off the coast of the United States, where they are commonly found.

Their life cycle unfolds slowly, with reproduction only commencing when they reach approximately six years of age. This longevity and unique lifecycle contribute to their significance in the underwater world.

#4 Greenland Shark

Greenland sharks are formidable contenders among the top 10 longest-living animals, claiming the title of the world’s longest-living vertebrate species. These remarkable creatures thrive for centuries in the frigid depths of the Arctic.

Recent research suggests that these 5-meter-long predators, known as Greenland sharks, may boast a lifespan exceeding 400 years. This astonishing longevity sets them apart as the longest-living vertebrates, surpassing other species by at least a century.

#5 Bowhead Whale

top 10 longest living animals; bowhead | animalsaroundtheglobe

Bowhead whales, featured on our top 10 list of longest-living animals, boast lifespans exceeding 200 years, making them remarkable creatures in the animal kingdom.

These majestic giants primarily inhabit the Arctic regions, closely tied to the ebb and flow of ice floes. Their movements are profoundly affected by the freezing and thawing of these icy expanses. Bowhead whales, equipped with colossal skulls and muscular bodies, possess the extraordinary ability to break through ice layers as thick as seven inches. With their entire bodies reaching lengths of up to 60 feet, they can even execute awe-inspiring leaps clear out of the water. When it comes to dining, bowheads rely on their baleen, a comb-like structure in their mouths, to filter food. They deftly open their lips and strain plankton from the surface, water column, or seafloor, showcasing their prowess as filter-feeding experts.

#6 Red Sea Urchin

top 10 longest living animals; Red urchin | Animalsaroundtheglobe

According to some studies, urchins can live for over 100 years, and several 200-year-old urchins have been discovered on Vancouver Island. In field investigations, annual growth rates in Southeast Alaska are between 0 and 20 mm per year.

Can you believe these hardened creatures survive unforgiving environments for up to 200 years- some even surpassing 400 years, making them one of our top 10 longest living animals.

#7 Rough-Eyed Rockfish

Others, like the Rough-Eyed Rockfish, have been known to live for almost 200 years.

The wide range of rockfish life spans provided ideal conditions for studying the genetics of longevity.

#8 Fresh Water Mussel Pearl

top 10 longest living animals; Freshwater mussel pearl | Animalsaroundtheglobe

A tiny larva, measuring about 0.6 to 0.7 millimeters in length, begins its life when an adult mussel expels it into the water amidst a mass of one to four million other larvae. Freshwater mussels, owing to their long lifespan and susceptibility to environmental changes, serve as ideal bioindicators.

#9 Tube Worm

Top 10 longest living Animals: tube worm

The tube worm can live for over 300 years in an environment with a year-round abundance of food and no predators.

When the tube worm extends its petal-like plume – a gill-like organ for gas exchange – out of the top of its tube, it resembles a giant plastic straw with a delicate pink flower at the end.

They can grow over 1.5 meters long and feed by forming a symbiotic connection with bacteria that flourish in these leaks.

#10 Galapagos Giant Tortoise

top 10 longest living animals; Galapagos tortoise | Animalsaroundtheglobe

More than 200,000 giant tortoises formerly roamed the Galapagos Islands; today, four species are extinct, and just 10% of the original population remains. The tortoise populations have been slowly rescued and eventually recovered.

Galápagos tortoises, popularly known as giant tortoises, comprise 13 different species. These reptiles have one of the longest lifespans of any land vertebrates, averaging over a century- How incredible is this? Breaking century barriers, this species has to be on the top 10 longest living animals list.

On record, the oldest tortoise lived to be 175. They are also the world’s most giant tortoises, with some specimens measuring over five feet long and weighing over 500 pounds.

Learn why the Giant Turtle is the World’s Longest Living Species of Turtle with our dedicated article!

Why do some animals live longer than others?

baby sea turtle
Image by frazaofernando via Depositphotos.

Body size is crucial, with larger animals surviving longer on average than smaller ones.

Environmental factors such as temperature influence how long animals live in some species, with a lower body temperature often indicating a longer lifetime.

Summary of The 10 Longest Living Animals

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