We are surrounded by a vast array of organisms of various shapes and forms. They may be so small that they can’t even be seen from the naked eye and may be so large that we humans might not want to get close to them. They live in all terrains and are widely adapted to living in their rightful ecosystem. Some of them go onto live longer than us humans.
The extent of their longevity depends on their ability to survive, adapted, and reproduce in the habitat they are living in effectively and have a low mortality rate.
Hence we have come up with a list to show you some of the longest-living organisms on the face of the Earth.
If you’re only interested in learning about longest living animals; this is our more detailed piece on that.
- Some endoliths are said to have long lives. Researchers have reported that on the ocean floors, the endoliths are perhaps millions of years old. This can be due to the slow metabolizing ability.
- Some Actinobacteria in the region of Serbia are also said to be millions of years old.
Clonal plant and fungal colonies
- Pando is a Populus tremuloides tree or clonal colony in south-central Utah. It is estimated that it is about 8,000 years old. However, unlike other clonal “colonies”, the ground above remains connected to each other by a single root system.
- Lomatia tasmanica is located in Tasmania, it is the last surviving colony of this species that is said to be at least 43,600 years old.
- A colony of seagrass Poisondia oceanica found in Ibiza, in the Mediterranean Sea is estimated to be between 12,000 to around 200,000 years old. The maximum age is however theoretical, due to the region being occupied by water above at some point between 10,000 and 80,000 years old.
- Old Tjikko, a pruce in Sweden, is a tree found on top of roots that through carbon dating are said to be 9,550 years old. The tree is part of a colonial colony set up after the last ice age.
- The Jurupa Oak colony in Riverside County, California is said to be at the very least 13,000 years old. However, some estimates also range it to be between 5,000 to 30,000 years old
- The “Humongous Fungus”, a separate fungal species Armillaria solidipes in the Malheur National Forest of Oregon, is said to be between 2,000 to 8,500 years old. It is also the world’s largest organism by area at 2,384 acres.
Individual plants living old!
- Llangernyw Yew is believed to be aged between 4,000 to 5,000 years. This ancient yew is in the churchyard of the village of Llangernyw in North Wales.
- The President, located in Sequoia National Park, California is stated to be the oldest living giant sequoia dating back 3,200 years of age.
- Methuselah is measured by ring count to be 4,851 years of age. The Methuselah is a Great Basin bristlecone pine and is the oldest known tree in North America, and the oldest known nonclonal tree in the world.
- Fitzroya cupressoides is the species with the second oldest confirmed age, with ring count measuring it to 3,649 years old.
- Yareta is a small flowering plant in the family of Apiaceae native in South America, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina at an altitude of between 3,200 and 4,500.
- A sacred fig, the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradapura in Srilanka that was planted in 288 BC is said to be 2307 years old. As of this day, It is the oldest human planted tree in the world.
- Fortingall Yew, another ancient yew in the churchyard village inn Perthshire, Scotland is one of the oldest individual trees of Europe. Estimates have put their age between 2,000 and 5,000 years, although it is now believed it is nearer to 2,000.
- Welwitschia is a monotype genus of the gymnosperm plant, it is solely composed of the distinct Welwitschia mirabilis. This plant is a living fossil. Carbon dating has confirmed most of the individuals have lived longer than 1,000 years, and some are even said to be older than 2,000 years of age.
- A kauri tree, nicknamed Tane Mahure after Tane, the god of the forests and the birds, is native to New Zealand. It is between 1,250 and 2,500 years old and is the oldest Kauri tree at present.
- There is also numerous olive tree are purported to be 2,000 years old or even older than that.
- Great sugi of Kayano, said to be planted by humans in Kaga Ishikawa Japan is also estimated to be aged 2,300 years old in 1928.
- Glass sponges located in the East China Sea as well as in the Southern Ocean is determined to be 10,000 years old
- The giant barrel sponge Xestospongia muta is one of the longest-lived animals, with specimens collected in the Caribbean estimated to be over 2,300 years old.
- The Antarctic sponge Cinachyra Antarctica has a tremendously slow rate of growth in the lower temperatures of the Southern Ocean. One specimen has also been said to be 1,550 years old.
- The Greenland shark had been estimated to have lived about 200 years, although some studies also say It may have had a minimum age of 272 and a maximum age of 512. This makes the Greenland shark the longest-lived Vertebrate.
- The koi fish is claimed to have lived for 200 years, for instance, Hanako, which is claimed to have died at an age of 226 years, however, this age is estimated to be based on a scale estimate and is not accepted scientifically.
- The bowhead whales, confirmed by some sources have also gone onto live for at least 211 years of age, this makes them one of the oldest mammals.
- Various sub-families of the marine fish Oreosomatidae, including the Allocyttus Neocyttus, and Pesudocyttus have said to have lived up to 170 years, these are based on otolith- increment estimated as well as radiometric dating.
- The Bigmouth Buffalo, is a freshwater fish in the family of Castostomidae, having maximum longevity of at least 112 years based on radiocarbon dating and otolith annulus counts.
- A killer whale identified as J2 or Granny in the “Southern Resident Community” was estimated by some scientists to have been approximately 105 years old at the time of her demise.
- The oldest known person to be alive is Kane Tanaka at the age of 117 years old, being born in January of 1903
- Jeanne Calment lived to be the age of 122 years and 164 days, going onto become the oldest recorded human to have ever existed. She passed away on August 4th, 1997.
Terrestrial and Pagophilic animals
- Jonathan, a giant tortoise living on the island of Saint Helena is reported to be 188 years old, it is therefore said to be the oldest living terrestrial animal.
- An Asian Elephant, by the name of Lin Wang, was the oldest elephant in the Taipei Zoo. He died at the age of 86 in February. It is normally stated that elephants have an average life span of 50 years with their maximum life span being around 70
- Muja, the American alligator from the Belgrade Zoo, is the oldest in the world. He is still living and is now over 80 years of age.
- Ol’Billy was the oldest living horse according to records. He was born in London, England and died in 1822 at the age of 62 years of age
- Debby, a polar bear who is a resident of the Assiniboine Park Zone in Winnipeg, Canada was the oldest polar bear and also the third-oldest bear species on record when she passed away in 2008, at the age of 42 years.