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5 Animals with a Long, Long Lifespan

5 Animals with a Long, Long Lifespan

The average shark has a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, but the Greenland shark is rather special.

Marine biologists have known about this interesting animal and its lenghty lifespan for a while, but late last year it found one female specimen that had been around for nearly 400 years. Previously it was believed that the Greenland shark could live for around 200 years.

With that in mind, we decided to compile a list of five animals that just keep on keeping on.

5. Clams

Clams live for a very long time, in fact, the oldest animal on record was a clam, and it lasted for 507 years before it was plucked from the ocean in 2006. The scientists who plucked him from the ocean realised their mistake only after the fact. They initially thought it was 405 years old, but carbon dating put it closer to 500.

The scientists felt so bad, they named the poor creature “Ming” after the dynasty during which he was born.

Deep-sea clams that stay out of harm’s way can easily live to be 200 years old.

long lifespan animal

4. Tubeworms

Two-metre long tubeworms, discovered in the Gulf of Mexico, have been around for between 170 to 250 years. In the colder, more sedate environment, it took these worms that amount of time to reach that height.

That’s fairly slow, compared to tubeworms found in warmer climates, which took one year to grow the same amount.

3. Red Sea Urchin

Found only on the West Coast of North America, the Red Sea Urchin keeps itself away from stormy water conditions by crawling along the ocean floor on its spine. These can live up to 200 years.

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long lifespan animal

2. Bowhead whale

This is the longest living mammal in existence and it is believed they can live to be 200 if they stay out of the paths of whalers. Researchers recently discovered a bowhead whale with spear tips still stuck in its flesh. These ivory tips dated back more than 200 years…

long lifespan animal

1. Tortoises

The most famous of long living animals, a number of which became famous because of their age. One great example is Harriet, who was famous for belonging to Steve Irwin. She died of heart failure at 175 years old, outliving her most famous owner by more than 100 years. He was called Charles Darwin, and Harriet accompanied him on a ship called the HMS Beagle.

Today, the tortoise Jonathan is thought to be the oldest living terrestrial animal at 186 years old. He currently resides on Saint Helena island.

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long lifespan animal

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