Article image

The top 10 longest-living animals

Compared to most animals, humans have the capacity to live much longer lives. Some animals, however, not only outlive humans but can actually survive longer than multiple generations of people. presents: the longest-living animals on the planet.


Ocean quahog

Also known as Arctica Islandica, this edible clam species is well-known for their long lifespans. One specimen found in the Icelandic seabed, which was then estimated to be around 405, turned out to be 507 years old.


Greenland Shark

The longest living vertebrate on the planet is the Greenland shark, with a lifespan of 400 years. These sharks do not even reach sexual maturity until they are 150 years old, according to a recent study. The researchers dated one ancient shark which lived as many as 512 years.



Some varieties of koi fish live longer than others. A koi living in the long-established waters of Japan, its historical home, can easily live to be over 70. A koi carp known as “Hanako” lived  to be 225 years old in Japan. In artificial ponds, it is still not unusual for a koi fish to reach over 40 years old.


Bowhead Whale

Also known as the Arctic whale, bowheads are the longest living mammals on Earth.

These whales can live to be over 200 years old, with the oldest known bowhead reaching the age of 211. Researchers have found that part of what enables these animals to live for so long is that they rarely succumb to cancer and disease.


Giant Tortoise

With an average lifespan of over 100 years, giant tortoises are very resilient creatures. Their long lives can be partially attributed to an extremely slow metabolism. Some giant tortoises such as Galapagos tortoises can go over a year without food or water. An Aldabra giant tortoise that died in India in 2006 was believed to be 255 years old.


Red sea urchin

Located primarily along the west coast of North America, red sea urchins prefer rocky, shallow ocean floor waters. They move around slowly, using their sharp spines as stilts. Red sea urchins often live beyond 30 years, and in optimal conditions have even lived to be over 200 years old.



Cockatoos have an average lifespan of 50-70 years in proper conditions, so bringing a cockatoo into a happy and healthy home is most likely a lifetime commitment. Umbrella Cockatoos can live 80 years or more when properly cared for. A legendary sulphur-crested cockatoo in Australia known as Cocky Bennett died at the ripe old age of 120.



Also known as mud ducks or king clams, geoducks can reach up to 10 pounds. They are also one of the world’s longest living animals and the oldest known geoduck clam lived to be 168 years old.


Asian Elephant

Asian elephants are slightly smaller than African elephants and are native to India and Southeast Asia. They live to be an average age of 70 years old. Lin Wang, a famous elephant at the Taipei Zoo who had once served in the Chinese army, lived the longest life of any Asian elephant in captivity and died at age 86.



With an average lifespan of 60 years, these reptiles can actually live to be over 100. They mature so slowly that they continue to grow larger for the first 35 years of life. This unique species dates back over 200 million years, with characteristics largely unchanged since the Jurassic Period.

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day