Old older the oldest…
That some animals are much older than humans, is well known. Scientists have been trying for many decades to fathom the mystery of the old age of some creatures in order to gain relevant insights for human health. The oldest known man to date was Jeanne-Louise Calment and lived for 122 years. This period of time is not uncommon in the animal kingdom and is easily reached by representatives of several groups. However, some species are so old that they exceed the age of the world-famous French many times.
In the Antarctic lives an animal that many scientists call the true Methuselah, reaching an age of up to ten thousand years. Anoxycalyc joubini, a giant sponge inhabiting the seabed, reaches a height of about one meter and feeds mainly on decomposing organic matter. Its high age brings researchers with its low metabolism and oxygen consumption in combination. Studies have shown that Anoxycalyc joubini grows only in phases and depending on the food supply and under certain conditions does not increase in body size in several decades. A similar incredible age reaches the black coral called Leiopathes. Researchers found in the coastal waters of Hawaii specimens that are estimated to be 4200 years old.
Among the reptiles, the Galapagos giant tortoise is considered the absolute leader in terms of age. Thanks to her genetic predisposition, her vegetarian diet and her quiet life, which she uses to save a lot of energy, she is able to live up to 200, and rarely even up to 250 years. The oldest captive Galapagos giant tortoise was 176 years old and lived in the Australia Zoo in Queensland, Australia.
Among the mammals, the whales are considered to be the representatives of the highest age. This is rather surprising due to the high metabolic rate and the energy-wasting lifestyle. The oldest killer whale, a female scientist named Granny, was estimated 103 years old. The researchers determined this age based on their offspring. There are photos of Granny that show her as a mature female in the early thirties of the last century. Greenland whales, however, can reach a nearly twice as high age.
The oldest fish to be named is the sturgeon, which as a living fossil inhabited the earth 250 million years ago. The sturgeon can become more than a hundred years old, depending on the species. The oldest documented specimen to date survives for 118 years, but scientists suspect that many sturgeons are even up to 150 years old.
Among the aquatic animals, the lobster can also be confidently called Methuselah. Since he moves only occasionally, unlike other crustaceans with little food gets along and these digested only very slowly, the metabolism of the lobster runs on low flame. This is the reason why lobsters often reach the age of one hundred years. An extremely low metabolic rate is also responsible for the longevity of the freshwater pearl mussel. This consumes only small amounts of oxygen, grows very slowly and can therefore be up to 110 years old.
Some species are famous for reaching a high age. These animals include, for example, the parrot, which can be up to ninety years old depending on the species in the wild. The oldest and at the same time most famous parrot, rumored to have lived with Winston Churchill, even made it to 105 years. Even ravens often reach a age that exceeds that of many people at the age of ninety. Among the large land mammals, the elephant is considered the oldest representative. In the wild, elephants reach an average age of sixty, if they die of natural causes.