With the average human lifespan steadily increasing by generation there is going to be less animals outliving humans as time goes on. There have been numerous reports of cats living into their thirties, ants living for 15 years, elephants reaching 70 years of age but most of the time these are extreme cases and don’t reflect the average lifespan of the animals. With the average human lifespan said to now be between 70 – 80, we have collected 8 creatures that have an average lifespan much higher than humans.
8. Geoduck Clams
Geoduck clams are a large variety of saltwater clams that have a large protruding ‘neck’. The Geoduck Clams are number eight on this list as they are known to live for atleast 150 years however it is thought that they can probably live for a lot longer. These massive clams are a popular food source although you may not come across many out in the wild as they are native to the puget sound in Washington.
7. Bowhead Whale
The Bowhead Whale is thought to hold the record for longest lifespan of any mammal on this planet. Although the age of the Bowhead Whale can varies it is believed that the average lifespan is around 160 years with the shorter lifespans variants still outliving humans. There have been multiple cases of Bowhead Whales being found with harpoon spears still lodged in them that are over 200 years old which gives rise to the idea that Bowhead whales may in some cases easily exceed a lifespan of 200 years.
The Tuatara have a similar lifespan to that of the Bowhead Whale with some members of the species living anywhere between 100 – 200 years. The Tuatara are one of the longest living vertebrates and vastly outlive similar species. It seems fitting that these ancient Tuatara have such a long lifespan and are quite literally living dinosaurs due to their dinosaur ancestry.
5. Red Sea Urchins
The Red Sea Urchin’s are native to the Pacific Ocean and are found along the Pacific coast of North America. They may not look like much but these Sea Urchins that can be found in the coastal shallows can actually live up to around 200 years – more than double that of a human!
4. Galapagos Tortoise
The Galapagos Tortoise is probably the best known creature on this list that has a very long lifespan. Its not uncommon for slow moving creatures like turtles and tortoise’s to boast a long lifespan compared to that of a human and the Galapagos Tortoise has been recorded to have reached ages of over 200 years. Tortoise’s are considered the longest living vertebrate species on the plant with the record in captivity current being held at 250 years.
3. Colpophyllia Natans
The Colpophyllia natans is a type of coral. When most people think about the oceans different species of coral it drums up a picture of a vast colorful landscape however these are coral reefs and do not represent one individual coral polyp but rather a colony which explains why the exist in one places for hundreds and thousnads of years. With these colonies the most individual corl polyp’s die off and are replaced by new ones, however some coral polyp’s like the Colpophyllia natans has been known to live for over 400 years as an individual – this is though to occar as the Colpophyllia natans is technically a ‘brain’ coral often living at the center of a reef or colony.
2. Antarctic Sponge
This may look more like a plant and indeed certainly outwardly appears as a plant through its physical looks and its behavior, however the Antarctic Sponge is actually a living creature and one with a massive lifespan. The Antarctic Sponge spends its life immobile, bogging up and down in the ocean. This behavior, lack of exertion and extremely slow growth, probably has a lot to do with its long lifespan as they have been known to reach over 1500 years of age.
1. Turritopsis nutricula
In at number one we have the exceptionally small but incredibly intriguing jellyfish, the Turritopsis nutricula. This fascinatingly unique jellyfish does not have the longest lifespan in a traditional sense however it possess a very unique ability. When the Turritopsis nutricula reaches a mature adult stage it is actually able to revert back to the polyp stage (the first form of a jellyfish), essentially making this tiny jellyfish (about the size of your fingernail) immortal, in a sense.