Ever spot a turtle? A whale? What if it outlives you? How much older is it than you? Better yet, What is the longest living animal? Let’s find out!
Humans appear to be at the top of the food chain hierarchy in the animal kingdom; however, some creatures outlive humans in terms of longevity.
Animal species on land, in the air, and underwater can live up to many decades or even centuries!
World’s Longest Living Animals
I’ve also divided the animals into age ranges, so we have 70+, 100+ and so on until 300+. Enjoy!
45. Gray Whale (Scientific Name: Eschrichtius robustus)
Found in the Pacific Ocean, the oldest whale found on record is 77 years old, with the average adult whale weighing a whopping 62, 832 lbs!
Gray whales also migrate more than 10,000 km – the longest identified migration route of any mammal.
44. Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus)
Weighing at an average 23 lbs., the oldest recorded Andean Condor is 79 years old and can be found in South America. They are one of the biggest flying birds in the world. It’s also the national bird of Chile.
Andean Condor species is threatened with population still decreasing; US government should take efforts to restore its populations.
43. China Rockfish (Sebastes nebulosus)
A meager 2 lbs., this fish can be found in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The oldest recorded China Rockfish is 79 years! These fish are usually solitary predators that use their instinctive ability to wriggle into small spaces to hunt smaller prey like shrimp and crabs.
42. Australian Lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri)
As the name suggests, this species has its habitat in Australia and the oldest recorded one is 80 years. A freshwater fish, this 80 year old lungfish was known as “The Granddad” at The Shedd Aquarium in Australia.
41. Silvergray Rockfish (Sebastes brevispinis)
The oldest recorded Silvergray Rockfish is 82 years, from the Northeastern Pacific Ocean. With an average adult weight of 5.7 lbs, they get their name for their silver-gray color.
40. Pink Cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri)
Found is several places of the world such as Philippines, Indonesia, Solomon Islands and Australia, the oldest recorded Pink Cockatoo is 83 years old. They usually don’t stay in one area, but rather move to wherever there is plentiful food and water.
Pink Cockatoo also has a couple more names like “Major Mitchell’s cockatoo” and “Leadbeater’s cockatoo”.
39. Baird’s Beaked Whale (Berardius)
Found in the Northern Pacific Ocean, the oldest whale of this specie is 84 years. Weighing at an average of 25,089 lbs., they have a very long noticeable beak and are among the least studied specie of its kind.
Aspiring to be a wildlife scientist? You better work on Baird’s Beaked Whale. We need to know more about it before it’s driven to extinction.
38. Splitnose Rockfish (Sebastes diploproa)
This light, 1 lbs. fish comes from the Northeastern Pacific Ocean with the oldest one recorded at 84 years.
37. Canary Rockfish (Sebastes pinniger)
Another rockfish species, these fish come from the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the oldest recorded one is 84 years. Grown Canary Rockfish feed up on demersal (ground fish) invertebrates and small fish, as well as other species of rockfish.
36. European Eel (Anguilla Anguilla)
Weighing at a slight 8 lbs, the oldest recorded European Eel is 88 years and comes from the Atlantic Ocean. They spend majority of their adult life in freshwater streams before returning to the ocean to produce and lay eggs.
35. Killer Whale – “Orca” (Orcinus orca)
Found in oceans worldwide, the oldest recorded killer whale has lived up to an astounding 90 years! With the average weight of 8,791 lbs, they are carnivorous and are also called “orcas”.
“Orcas” term was coined by ancient sailors. Later it was changed to an easier term “Killer Whale”.
34. Tuatara (Sphenodon)
Living up to a long 90 years, this light-weight 1 lbs reptile can be found in New Zealand. Tuatara’s unique name comes from the indigenous Maori peoples of New Zealand and translates to “peaks on the back”.
33. Atlantic Halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)
Also recorded at 90 years of life, the Atlantic Halibut is found in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and is the largest flatfish in the world.
32. Quillback Rockfish (Sebastes maliger)
Joining the ‘recorded at 90 years’ club, this rockfish is found in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and weighs a mere 4 lbs. Quillback Rockfish is a valued food fish that is in commercial, leisure and Aboriginal fisheries coast wide.
31. Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
Who knows, this one just may outlive you! The oldest recorded Humpback Whale is 95 years old! Weighing at an average of a massive 66, 139 lbs. these whales are found in oceans worldwide.
When they are together in small ‘pods’, they communicate with each other. The mothers and their young are also seen grazing fins as a likely sign of endearment.
30. American Lobster (Homarus americanus)
Breaking the record so far in this list, the oldest American Lobster on record is a 100 years old! Found in the Western Atlantic Ocean; its leading predator is humans, who see American lobster as a luxury food for consumption.
29. Yangtze Sturgeon (Acipenser dabryanus)
Also oldest recorded at a 100 years, this fish’s habitat is found in China and Korea. According to fossil studies, these fish have been around since the time of the dinosaurs!
Yangtze Sturgeon is also known as “Darby’s Sturgeon”.
28. European Sturgeon (Acipenser sturio)
This fish too has been recorded at the oldest age of 100 years and comes from the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Also known as Common, Atlantic or Baltic Sturgeon, these species are critically endangered.
27. Pacific Ocean Perch (Sebastes alutus)
Oldest recorded at a 100 years as well and found in the Northern Pacific Ocean; these fish reach sexual maturity when they are almost 10 years old. They are known to mate in the fall season only.
26. Black Oreo (Allocyttus niger)
With its habitat in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, weighing at a meager 1.8 lbs, they are found only in the Southern Hemisphere. Black Oreo is a deepwater species.
25. Olm or Proteus (Proteus anguinus)
Almost weightless at 0.4 lbs. this unusual looking amphibian lives its life in the dark and mostly underground. The oldest recorded Olm is known to be 102 years!
24. White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus)
North America’s largest fish, the oldest recorded White Sturgeon is an astounding 104 years old. Much like sharks, their skeletons are made of not bone, but cartilage.
23. Telescope Cardinal (Epigonus telescopus)
The oldest recorded Telescope Cardinal fish is a 104 years. Found in almost every moderate-temperature ocean around the globe, it is a species of deepwater cardinal fish.
The image I found for Telescope Cardinal was not post-worthy, feel free to google it up!
22. Redbanded Rockfish (Sebastes babcocki)
Sure to outlive most humans, this rockfish has an average adult weight of 5.4 lbs with the oldest recorded at 106 years. It has many other interesting names such as “Hollywood”, “Spanish Flag” and “canary”.
21. Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
With underwater creatures dominating this list, and adding to the whale species that live long lives, the oldest blue whale has been recorded at an amazing 106 years!
Found in oceans worldwide with the average adult weighing 299,828 lbs, these are the largest animals to have lived on our planet.
You should also read up on our list of Most Endangered Marine Mammals of the World!
20. Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
Oldest recorded at 114 years; Fin whale is also found in oceans worldwide.
After the blue whale, it is the second largest species on Earth. They are also known by the name “razorback” whales because of the prominent ridge behind their top fin.
19. Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria)
Also known as butterfish for its oil-rich, soft meat when eaten, the oldest recorded Sablefish is 114 years. Though they are not cod species, they are known as “black cod” and have two top (dorsal) fins.
18. Shortspine Thornyhead (Sebastolobus alascanus)
Living up to 115 years on record, they have a striking color of red-orange and are endangered. Females grow larger than males and they feed on small organisms that live on the bottom of a water body.
17. Tiger Rockfish (Sebastes nigrocinctus)
With its tiger-like stripes – which is where it gets its name from – the oldest recorded Tiger Rockfish is a 116 years. Found mostly in rocky reefs, it has a thick spine and mildly venomous dorsal and anal fins.
16. Beluga Sturgeon (Huso huso)
Found in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, the oldest recorded Beluga Sturgeon is an incredible 118 years. It’s the largest sturgeon and the largest bony fish in the world. They have a prehistoric lineage since they have been around over 200 million years.
15. European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis)
A small 2.2 lbs. turtle from countries like Germany and Austria, European Pond Turtle has been recorded at an oldest age of 120 years. Considered a near-threatened species, it feeds on crabs, frogs, snails and fish.
14. Mediterranean Spur-Thighed Tortoise (Testudo graeca)
This tortoise species has been recorded to live up to an incredible 127 years! They are omnivorous; feeding on small plants and insects.
Mediterranean Spur-Thighed Tortoise is also known as “Greek Tortoise“.
13. Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina Carolina)
These turtles are known to have a very hard shell and hibernate in the winter. Unable to tolerate hot temperatures, they seek out leaf piles or mud to cool down. The oldest recorded Eastern Box Turtle is 138 years and is found in Southeastern U.S.
12. Warty Oreo (Allocyttus verrucosus)
From oceans in the Southern Hemisphere, the oldest recorded Warty Oreo is a 140 years. It’s found in depths ranging from 300 to 1600m.
The image I found is just a sketch, feel free to google the term and hit “images”!
11. Orange Roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus)
Also known as “Deep sea perch” or “slimehead”, the orange or red roughy, is a deepsea fish and has lived up to 149 years. Found in the Western Atlantic Ocean, they are prey to sharks and eels.
List of Top 10 Oldest Living Animals
Now start’s the hot list, as we enter the big leagues of animals with lifespans of more than 150 years!
Spoiler Alert: They go up to 500 years!
10. Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens)
Found in rivers and lakes in America such as the Mississippi River and Hudson Bay, the oldest recorded Lake sturgeon is 152 years! Females lay around two to three million eggs every season, with the species making somewhat of a comeback in population recovery (Yay!).
9. Aldabra Tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantean)
With the habitat in Aldabra Island Atoll, Seychelles, it is the largest free-roaming tortoise in the world. The longest living Aldabra Tortoise is a 152 years, with the average adult weighing 450 lbs.
Because of it’s size and weight, it’s often referred to as “Aldabra Giant Tortoise”.
8. Shortraker Rockfish (Sebastes borealis)
One of the longest-lived fish, the longest living Shortraker Rockfish was found to be at 157 years. The average adult weight of Shortraker Rockfish is 20 lbs. They are found in the North Pacific Ocean.
7. Galapagos Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra)
As the name indicates, these tortoises are found in the Galapagos Islands and live up to 177 years. This also makes Galapagos tortoise the longest living vertebrate on the planet!
Weighing at 500 lbs, these Galapagos tortoises live a simple life, nibbling on grass, leaves, and cactus, lying in the sun, and slumbering near 16 hours per day.
A slow metabolism and big internal stores of water allow them to thrive up to a year without eating or drinking.
6. Red Sea Urchin (Mesocentrotus franciscanus)
Oldest recorded at 200 years, and weighing light 1 lbs, these urchins are from the Pacific Ocean. Its skeleton/shell known as a test is made of 10 fused, chalky plates roofed with spines.
Red Sea Urchin is more commonly found hiding out in rocky shores, safe from harsh wave movements.
5. Rougheye Rockfish (Sebastes aleutianus)
The rougheye rockfish is among the longest living marine fishes, living as far as 205 years! Aleutianus In it’s scientific name refers to Aleutian Islands, where the species was first found.
Fishers often call it “blackthroat” or “Blacktip” rockfish. They are deepwater fishes, found between 150 and 450m, with some living even deeper around 2800m!
Rougheye rockfish feeds on shrimps, crabs and small fishes.
4. Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus)
Recorded oldest at an amazing 211 years, and weighing at a massive 220,462 lbs. this species falls under the baleen whale family.
It uses its triangular skull to break through ice in the Arctic and gets quite rowdy in the freezing cold waters.
As the bowhead whale commonly has very long lifespans, scientists have agreed to make it one of the longest living sea creatures of the world.
3. Koi Fish (Cyprinus rubrofuscus)
A Koi fish named “koi Hanako” was the oldest fish ever recorded at an amazing 226 years old. Life expectancy of an average koi fish is a mere 25-35 years. So this is the longest lifespan for any koi fish out there.
Koi Hanako’s age was verified by scientific observation of rings on its scales, just like we use growth rings in tree-dating.
2. Greenland Shark (Somniosus microcephalus)
The oldest recorded Greenland Shark is a jaw-dropping 392 years, from the North Atlantic Ocean. Their meat is poisonous and can be seen in complete darkness. They also don’t attack humans and thrive in cold temperatures.
1. Ocean Quahog Clam (Arctica Islandica)
Winning the race of world’s oldest animals is Ocean Quahog Clam, recorded at 507 years! Weighing a simple 0.5 lbs. Arctica Islandica speciesgrow very slow and are found on the sandy seabed of United Kingdom. Oh by the way, these are edible clams!
Now the next time someone comes up to you and asks ‘What is the Longest Living Animal on Earth? You’ll have a quick answer for them.
P.S: Some claim the Immortal Jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii) to be the oldest animal. Even though scientifically it might be true, the immortal jellyfish doesn’t practically live long enough because it gets eaten by predators. The reason for biological immortality of jellyfish is because it reverts into hibernation when exposed to stress or injury.
P.P.S: Another species, Antarctic sponge, is also considered the longest living animal because of its “claimed” lifespan of 15,000 years. Nothing comes close. It’s only “estimated” because we weren’t there to measure it so long ago.
As large as the list may seen, there are many more animals on Earth which haven’t even been identified! As we know more about new species, there’ll be more adding to this list.
However, now that we know these are the longest living animals, we should work towards protecting them. You can even professionally take part in protecting these animals by becoming a conservationist!