Human beings are known to outlive other earthly creatures by far. Animals living under natural conditions rarely reach their maximum possible age because of high death rates, bad weather, diseases, predators, and competition for shelter and food. The average lifespan of an animal varies from a few months to a few years. However, some animals have proven to stand the test of time.
The “Immortal” Jellyfish Species
The only thing that surpasses living for a prolonged period is beating death. One rare jellyfish species, which is known as the Turritopsis Dohrnii, is considered immortal. As the jellyfish ages, it eventually settles on the seafloor and transforms into a colony of polyps. It then spawns a new and identical jellyfish. In case a Turritopsis Dohrnii starts starving or is physically harmed, it can quickly transform into a polyp, which can then produce a genetically identical jellyfish. Talk of cheating death!
Greenland Shark – 512 Years Old
The Greenland shark is thought to be the oldest living animal. There is a chance that it’s even older than Shakespeare. The giant sea creature was discovered in the North Atlantic Ocean by a scientist. The researchers used its size to approximate its year of birth since Greenland sharks are known to grow 1cm every year. Using its large size of 18 ft long and carbon dating expertise, the scientists settled for 1505. This is the same year that King Henry VII ended his engagement to Catherine.
Jonathan, a Giant Tortoise – 187 Years
Giant tortoises are known for their longevity. One of the best-known tortoises is Jonathan, who is a giant tortoise from Seychelles. He made it to the Guinness World Record in 1882 and several years onwards as the oldest surviving animal. Jonathan has lived on St. Helena, which is an island in the South Atlantic Ocean. He is a year away from obtaining the title of “The oldest Chelonian ever.” Tu’i Malila has held the honor; a Madagascar radiated tortoise that died when she was at least 188 years old in 1965.
Henry the Tuatara – 120 Years Old
At 120 years, Henry, one of the most elegant New Zealand’s reptiles, is thought to be the oldest of its kind. The species originates from a lineage that existed before the dinosaurs and even after they became extinct. Henry lives at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery and became a father at age 111. The news of the incredible reptile hit the press by storm, and Prince Harry came to meet Henry in 2015.