Animals in the wild today, rarely live to their prime due to high infant mortality rates, poaching, climate change and habitat loss. They fare far better is sanctuaries or wild reserve parks, places where they are taken care of.
Most of us out live our pets and its hard to imagine animals that live longer than us. Its comes as a shock to most people that some fish can live up to be a century old. In this article i have added 10 animals with the longest life spans.
Jellyfish are underwater creatures that have been around for millions of years, and jelly-like creatures can be found both in warm water as well as cold water bodies. Jellyfish come in all sizes and colors, such as pink, blue, purple, and yellow. These creatures are invertebrates, and they are known to be self-illuminating.
An important face about Jellyfish is that some of them are thought to be immortal. The life of a jellyfish is divided into two phases, the stationary phase, and the mobile medusa phase. There are many kinds of Jellyfish out there that travel backward to the polyp stage when they get stressed.
A group of fish is known as a school, and just like that, a group of Jellyfish is known as a smack or, better yet, a swarm. Jellyfish actually have the ability to clone themselves; if you cut a jellyfish in half, it can regenerate from the pieces and create two organisms. Just like that, if a jellyfish is injured, it can heal itself and potentially go-ahead to produce hundreds of offsprings.
Jellyfish, unlike most organisms, have no eyes, bones, and no brain. They are made up of bags like smooth bodies and tentacles armed with stinging, tiny cells. They use these deadly tentacles to sting prey and trap them before gobbling them up. This may seem disgusting to most people, but Jellyfish use the same opening to eat and discrete waste. Their mouths can be found at the center of their body.
Jellyfish prey on shrimp, fish, crabs, and tiny plants. They have to eat and digest very quickly as the weight of the undigested food can restrict their ability to float easily.
2. Ocean Quahog Claim
The Ocean Quahog is a species of clam that is safe for human consumption and is a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Arctiidae. This species can be found in the North Atlantic ocean, as it is harvested as a food source on a commercial level.
This species of clam is also known as mahogany quahog, Icelandic cyprine, mahogany clam, black clam, and black quahog. The Ocean Quahog is a very deep water clam with the mahogany brown colored shell. This species became the Official Shell of Rhode Island in the year 1987.
The Ocean Quahog Clam is known for its long lifespan, and one specimen known as Ming was estimated to live up to 507 years in the wild. A study showcased that in animals aged 4 to about 192 years, the decline of antioxidant enzymes was rapid in the first quarter of a century, which includes the sexual maturity and growth period, but afterward, it tends to remain stable for over 150 years. Plus, the proteins damaged by oxidation in the heart of the organism do not change significantly up to 120 years of age.
The ocean quahog clam has pretty high proteome stability, specifically when compared to short-lived mammals. Ocean Quahog clams grow to about 50 mm or to inches in shell height. Ocean quahogs are bivalve mollusks, which mean they have shells with two hinges that enclose their body. They have oval-shaped, thick shells, and they have a while interior with a purple border.
These beauties spawn by releasing eggs and sperm in the water column where the eggs are supposed to be fertilized. Their larvae are carried around by the current for at least 30 days until they develop into juveniles, after which they sink to the bottom.
3. Greenland Shark
The Greenland Shark is also known as the gray shark, the gurry shark, sleeper shark, or by the Inuit name Eqalussuaq. It is actually the second-largest shark after the Great White, but there is really no reason to panic as is this species of shark lives in the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean where it rarely encounters people. These sharks are famous for their extremely long lifespans: more than two centuries on average. These beauties are thought to be one of the longest living vertebrates on Earth.
The Greenland shark has a cylindrical body, a sluggish look, and a small head with a tiny eye and a short snout. This species is actually one of the unique sharks out there, both in appearance and behavior. These sharks tend to move very slowly and are considered as one of the slowest swimming sharks in the world.
These magnificent creatures are not as common as one might think. The first underwater photos of the Greenland Shark were taken in the year 1995 in the Arctic. And the first video was not captured until the year 2003.
This species of shark is native to the North Atlantic waters around Canada, Greenland, and Iceland. They are the only kinds of shark that can bare the drastic Arctic temperature and are the only true sub-Arctic shark. They prefer to live in extremely cold waters, and in the summer, they tend to live at the bottom of the ocean, where the water is the coldest. As winter comes, these sharks vertically migrate to the surface layer, which at that specific time is much colder as compared to the water at the bottom of the ocean.
4. Lamellibrachia Luymesi
Lamellibrachia Luymesi is a large worm that is found in the Atlantic Ocean, specifically in the northern part of the Gulf of Mexico. This area of the Gulf of Mexico basin contains a number of hydrocarbon cold seep vents. These specific cold seep vents are powered by the tectonics of sediment and a compact salt layer, which is located beneath the Gulf of Mexico basin. This species of worm is known for its long lifespan; they can live up to 250 years on average.
These sedentary worms are most abundant along the Louisiana slope of the Gulf of Mexico basin. However, they were first discovered in the late 1970s along the Guyana Shelf. These species of arms live within a secreted tube. Their curling or wavy tubes are off white in color, and their plumes are deep red in color. They do not possess a gut or a mouth because they depend on chemosynthetic bacterial endosymbionts for nutrition.
Mature seep worms have a tapered, thin body plan. This species of worm can reach as high as 1.5m above the seafloor, and it grows about 1cm per year.
Lamellibrachia Luymesi provides the bacteria with oxygen and hydrogen sulfide by absorbing them from the places around them and binding them to a specialized hemoglobin molecule. These worms use their roots, which are the posterior extensions of their body to absorb hydrogen sulfide from the seep sediments. The symbionts of the worm them oxidize the sulfide in order to produce energy for carbon fixation and release hydrogen ions and sulfate as by-products. It is important for the worm to excrete these waste ions; it could do this by using its roots or across its vascular plume.
5. Red Sea Urchin
Red Sea Urchins can be found in the rocky subtidal habitats in regions just below the low tide line, where the wave action is not that drastic to about 300 feet. They are abundant in warm water and tend to avoid locations with muddy or sandy sediments. Red Sea Urchins can live up to be about 200 years old. This time frame does vary from species to species.
The body of the red sea urchin is flat from below and domed from above. The external skeleton of the red sea urchin is known as the test, and it is made up of 10 chalky plates that are fused together and covered with spines. Every other section has several holes in it through which the tube feet of the urchin has been extended. These feet are flexible, long tentacles that end in tiny suction cups.
The spines of the red sea urchin are connected to the test via ball joints that allow them to point in every direction. Also present among the spines and close to the mouth is pedicellaria, which is pincer-like structures. The color of the sea urchin varies between dark burgundy and uniform red.
Red sea urchins are larger than any other urchin species, and in California, the maximum test diameter ever calculated was about 127 mm and spine length 2 to 3 inches. In British Columbia, the red sea urchins can grow to a diameter of about 180 cm with spines about 8cm long. The annual growth rate in adult sea urchins is slow, which is less than 0.004 inches, experts believe that they never stop growing, no matter how old they get.
6. Bow Head Whale
Bow Headed Whales are names after their bow-shaped head and can be found in the Arctic during July, they are actually the most sought after species for whale watching in the Arctic.
This species of whale has a large appetite and can devour about 2 tonnes of food on a daily basis. In a year, Bowhead whales eat up to 100 tonnes of food; they feed by swimming with their mouths open. They filter through their food using keratin bristles, baleen plates equipped to sift out water, and capture zooplankton to feed off of. They mostly feed during the summer month in the Canadian Arctic.
Bowhead whales are actually one of the longest living species in the world and can live from 100 to 200 years on average. These whales use their bow-shaped head to break through the ice, and their skull makes up 1/3rd of their total length.
These beauties are humongous; they are thought to be one of the largest whale species in the world and can weigh up to 100 tonnes. On average, the length of a bowhead whale is 15 to 18 m, but experts have witnessed some as long as 20m.
These whales are known for their intense social group interactions. These interactions consist of flipper slapping, tail slapping, and breaching. Don’t let their massive size fool you; bowhead whales can breach entirely out of water.
One of the most interesting facts about these whales is that they possess the thickest coating of blubber of any sea mammal, layers being 19 inches thick. Blubber helps to maintain the body temperature of the whales, so they remain insulated throughout all of the Arctic seasons.
7. Galapagos Tortoises
The Galapagos Tortoise is a beautiful sight, scaly, tall, and nearly prehistoric; it sure does know how to make an entrance. These are among the largest species of tortoises in the world and among the longest-lived. They can live up to be about a century on average; the oldest recorded Galapagos Tortoise was about 170 years old.
As obvious from their name, these tortoises can be found on the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador. Galapagos comes from the Spanish world Galapagos which the original explorers used to mean saddle because of the shape of the tortoise’s shells. When these animals were first discovered, people actually used to ride them, but not this is illegal, as it is quite harmful to the turtles.
Unlike cartoon tortoise, you cannot really remove a tortoise’s shell. Their shell is a part of their body, it is an integral part of their skeleton, and when the tortoise gets scared or feels threatened, it can pull its head as well as its legs inside the shell.
The Galapagos tortoise that lives in the colder regions have a dome-shaped shell that restricts neck movement; hence, they feed on grass. The tortoise that can be found in warmer climates has a saddle-shaped shell, which allows them to stretch their necks in order to grab vegetation that grows above the ground, such as leaves, fruit, and vines.
This species of tortoise is quite different than other tortoise as unlike many animals; these beauties can survive a year without food and water. They are also slow-moving creatures that can travel long distances at a speed of about 0.18 miles per hour.
8. Rougheye Rockfish
The Rougheye rockfish can be found in depths between 170 and 660 m. They typically live near the seafloor around the crevices, caves, and steeply sloped boulder fields that are surrounded by soft terrain.
Their diet consists majorly of shrimp, but they are also known to feed on crabs, other fish, and tiny crustaceans. The females spawn by releasing their larvae from ovaries filled with eggs mostly between the month of February and June. This species of fish matures rather late in life and grows super slowly. They are actually one of the longest living marine fish species present on Earth; they can live up to 200 years.
This fish species has a bright pink or red body with gray or black patches. The pectoral fins are generally marked with black ends, giving it the nickname blacktip rockfish. The fillets of the fish are bright white. The posterior part of the lateral line is often pink.
The blacktip rockfish grows to a maximum height of about 97 cm in length, with its weight being around 6.7 kg on average. These magnificent creatures live in the forms of schools sometimes, but most of the year, larger fish are solitary or roam around in small groups.
It can be rather difficult to distinguish between Rougheye rockfish from a number of other fish species, especially the Shortraker rockfish, which is a close cousin. There are more than 70 species of rockfish in the eastern Pacific. These fish are actually named after their distinguishing feature: spines along the lower rim of their eyes.
9. Pacific Geoduck
A Pacific Geoduck is actually the largest burrowing clam in the world, and it occasionally reaches about 10-pound sin weight with a shell of about 8 to 10 inches long. It is also one of the longest living animals in the world; it can live up to 150 years of age.
The Geoduck is not related to ducks in any way; the name was coined by a Native American tribe that lives in western Washington, who called it gweduc, which means dig deep and referring to the bivalve burrows way below the seafloor. The Europeans later altered the spelling as well as the pronunciation.
The Geoduck has two main parts, the neck or siphon, which hangs out of the shell and the mantle, which is also called the breast; it is the meaty part that is present inside the shell. These living organisms anchor themselves into the ground using a small foot, and then they remain in the same position for the rest of their lives.
Below the ground, the clam sucks in seawater and filters for precious vitamins and plankton and then squirts out the rest using its siphon. The length of the siphon can easily stretch from a banana into a baseball length; it really depends on how comfortably situated the clam is. These clams take about a decade to completely mature.
The clam is far too big to retrieve into its shell-like other mollusks; instead, the neck just hangs outside in all its glory. These beauties can be found along the West Coast from Alaska to Baja California, and they are very abundant in British Columbia and Puget Sound.
10. Japanese Spider Crab
The Japanese spider crab is the only member of the genus Macrocheira and is a species of marine crab. The crab can only be found in waters that surround Japan. The creature has the largest leg span of any arthropod on Earth, reaching up to 12 feet and weighing 19 kg. It is considered a delicacy and is subject to fishing.
The Japanese Spider Crab actually has the longest lifespan of any crab and can live up to be a 100 years old; however, they do not fare so well if they get injured. The crab can be found on the Pacific side of the Japanese Islands, Kyushu and Konshu. They are found usually in Suruga, Sagami, and Tosa bays. As well as off the coast of the Kii peninsula. This great species of crab was also once found as far as Su-ao, in eastern Taiwan. This was just a rare event, as it is possible that extreme weather or a fish trawler may have carried the crab much further south than its usual home range. The Japanese spider crab can survive up to the depths of 750 meters.
This species of crab is actually a scavenger, which means that it usually feats on animals that are dead, but it does sometimes also feed on shellfish, opening the shells by making use of its giant claws to feast on them.
After molting, the Japanese spider crabs are known to eat their own shells to get some vital nutrients. Mating among Japanese spider crabs takes place with the ventral surfaces of the two partners opposing each other, and it happens as soon as the female crab completes her molt. Fertilization is internal; the abdomen of the female is far wider than that of the male, which provides space for the brooding of the egg mass. The fertilized eggs are then laid shortly after mating.