12 of the oldest animals ever, ranked by age

Jellyfish (not Turitopsis dohrnii) in Antarctica, photographed by Henry Kaiser of the National Science Foundation.Henry Kaiser, National Science Foundation/Wikimedia Commons

  • Many animals can live much longer than their average lifespan.

  • Parrots and turtles are known to live over 100 years, while Greenland sharks can live over 400 years.

  • A collection of the oldest animals in the world.

Humans live longer than many other animals, but some species put the average human lifespan (about 72 years according to the World Health Organization) to shame. For example, a giant tortoise he can live more than 100 years, while a bowhead whale he can reach 200 years.

Additionally, certain individual animals have blown away the life expectancy of their species and have gained notoriety for their feats.

Here are the 12 oldest animals in the world, ranked by age.

The oldest living female gorilla is thought to be 65 years old.


Fatou eats a birthday cake on his 61st birthday.Marcus Schreiber/AP

The western lowland gorilla is a subspecies native to the Congo Basin and the most widespread of all gorilla subspecies. Lifespan in the wild is 30 to 40 years. In captivity, they can live into their 50s and beyond.

Koro, the western lowland gorilla of the Columbus Zoo, was the oldest zoo-born gorilla in the world until his death in 2017 at the age of 60. The name Colo, an abbreviation for Columbus, Ohio, was chosen in a contest.

Today, two female gorillas are believed to share this title. Fatou of the Berlin Zoo in Germany and Trudy of the Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas are both estimated to be 65 years old. Ozzy, a male gorilla at the Atlanta Zoo in Georgia, was previously the oldest male and lived to be 61 years old.

The longest-lived albatross is at least 71 years old.

This 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows the world's oldest known breeding bird sitting in its nest at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and the Battle of Midway National Memorial, with its chicks. ing. The Federal Wildlife Service says the world's oldest known wild bird has re-mothered at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. reported hatching chicks on a remote atoll northwest of Wisdom is at least 68 years old and has at least 31 chicks, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials.  (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Bob Peyton/AP)

Wisdom, the world’s oldest known breeding bird with chicks, in its nest at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.Bob Peyton/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/AP

An albatross with wingspans as long as 11 feet can live for more than 50 years. One of the longest-living albatrosses in the United States, and one of the world’s oldest known wild birds as a whole, is a Laysan albatross named Wisdom.

Wisdom is believed to be at least 71 years old, well beyond the race’s typical lifespan of 12-40 years. She has been in the news several times for continuing to lay her eggs well into her old age. Wisdom returns annually to her nesting site at Midway Atoll in the North Pacific.

Ambika at the National Zoo in Washington, DC is believed to be 71 years old and may be the oldest living elephant.

asian elephant

asian elephantAPs

Asian elephants can typically live into their mid-fifties. However, some survived into their 80s. Ling He Wan, an Asian elephant living at the Taipei Zoo in Taiwan, lived to be 86 years old.

Dakshayani, an elephant at the Chengaluru Mahadeva temple in Kerala, India, also lived a long life. She died in 2019 at the age of 88.

There are several Asian elephants in their 70s in the United States. Shirley, who lives in Elephant Her Sanctuary, Tennessee, is 70, and Ambika, who is at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, is 71. It is often estimated that

Fred, the oldest parrot in the world, is over 100 years old.


A parrot (not Fred) is perched in a basket.APs

A parrot is one of 20 bird species belonging to the parrot family Cacatuinae. Life expectancy is generally 60 years, but some individuals live over 100 years in captivity.

For example, Fred from Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania, Australia, is now 104 years old.

Another Australian monkey cockatoo known as ‘Cocky Bennett’ reportedly lived to be 120 years old before dying in 1916. Bennett lived in a hotel.

Cookie, Major Mitchell’s parrot, was also noted for his longevity. He died in 2016 at the Brookfield Zoo outside Chicago, Illinois, where he lived to the age of 83.

Jonathan, a giant tortoise born in the Seychelles Islands, is 190 years old.

giant tortoise seychelles

Seychelles giant tortoise.Charles Luk/Flickr

Giant tortoises are known for their longevity. One of the most famous examples of him is Lonesome George, the last surviving member of the Pinta Island species. He was believed to be over 100 years old when he died in 2012.

Jonathan, a giant tortoise born in the Seychelles Islands, is still doing well. At 190 years old, he has been named the oldest living land animal in the world by Guinness World Records. Since 1882 (his 50th birthday), Jonathan has lived on the South Atlantic island of St. Helena.

Jonathan is also the oldest Keronian in history. (Chelonia is a scientific order that includes turtles, tortoises, and soft-shelled turtles.)

Sometimes called a “living fossil,” the tuatara lives for over 100 years. He, one of the oldest members of this species, called Henry, is over 120 years old.

tuatara reptile

Henry the Tuatara is shown on August 6, 2008 at the Southland Museum in Invercargill, New Zealand, aged 111, resting on his handler’s arms.Diane Manson/NZPA/AP

Tuatara are descendants of an extinct group of reptiles that roamed the earth alongside dinosaurs. These scaly creatures are endemic to New Zealand and live on 32 islands. Creatures can live to be over 100 years old.

One of the oldest living tuatara, Henry is at least 123 years old. He lives at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, home to the ‘Tuataririum’ habitat.

Henry and his mate Mildred were still laying eggs as of 2009, when he was already 111 years old (Mildred was thought to be in his 70s).

Bowhead whales can live over 200 years. One particular bowhead was estimated at 211.

bowhead whale

Bowhead whale.Bering Land Bridge National Reserve/Flickr

Bowhead whales are the longest-lived marine mammals, sometimes living over 200 years. In addition to its longevity, this species is known for its namesake noggin, which contains the largest mouth of any creature in the animal kingdom.

A group of Inupiat in Alaska captured a bowhead whale in 2007 with six ancient harpoons in its meat, according to the Medical Daily. The harpoon suggests he dates back to the late 1800s and was about 211 years old at the time the whale died.

A 2016 study estimated that one female Greenland shark is 400 years old.

greenland shark

A drawing of a Greenlandic shark from the book A History of Fish in the British Isles, published by Jonathan Couch in 1877.Wikimedia Commons

In a 2016 study, researchers found that Greenland sharks have an average lifespan of about 272 years. However, a shark native to the North Atlantic he can live over 400 years, as evidenced by the unnamed and very old Greenland shark, which is believed to be 400 years old.

The largest sharks noted in the study were 493 centimeters (16 feet) and 502 centimeters (16.5 feet) long, with lifespans of 335 and 392 years, respectively.

The potential secret to this species’ longevity may lie in its slow growth rate of 1 centimeter (0.39 inches) per year. In July 2022, a Greenlandic shark was spotted in unusual waters in Belize.

The Ming sea quahog shell lived over 500 years.

Icelandic_Arctic_(Quahog_Ocean)_ _Flickr_ _S._Rae

Sea quahog clam. (Ming is not pictured.)Wikimedia Commons/S. Ray

A type of clam, the ocean quahog usually lives for 100 to 200 years. His one of these clams, nicknamed Min, was 507 years old when he was discovered off the coast of Iceland in 2006. To calculate Ming’s age, the researchers counted the shell bands.

Ming happened to be part of a group of 200 clams dredged from the sea and frozen as part of a research project on climate change.

There is an “immortal” species of jellyfish that is said to age.


Jellyfish (not Turitopsis dohrnii) in Antarctica, photographed by Henry Kaiser of the National Science Foundation.Henry Kaiser, National Science Foundation/Wikimedia Commons

The only thing better than living long is finding a way to outwit death. Turritopsis dohrnii, a species of jellyfish, is virtually immortal. As the jellies age, they eventually settle on the ocean floor and become colonies of polyps (individual organisms). The polyps then give birth to new, genetically identical jellyfish.

If the Turritopsis dohrnii becomes physically damaged or begins to starve, it can revert to a polyp at will. It then generates new, genetically identical jellyfish.

Some Elkhorn corals in Florida and the Caribbean are over 5,000 years old.

elkhorn coral

Elkhorn Coral.AP Photo/Wilfred Lee

Many of the oldest living creatures on Earth live in water, including corals. His 2016 study by Penn State University researchers found that some genotypes of Acropora palmata (elkhorn corals) in Florida and the Caribbean predate him more than 5,000 years ago. rice field.

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