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Top 10 Longest Living Organisms

People often wonder what is the longest living species on Earth. An organism, however, can mean anything from bacteria through plants and insects to mammals. Each of these groups has its own record-holders. Longevity is definitely a relative concept and as hard as it may seem, we should try to avoid an anthropocentric perspective on that.

Let's begin by dividing the ranking into 5 sections, each one containing a different category of organisms.


Longest Living Land Animals

When it comes to land animals, the giant tortoise has been known to live up to 175 years and more, which means that at the moment there are tortoises walking this earth that were alive in the times of Charles Darwin, the author of the "The Origin of the Species", one of the first written theories on evolution of all life from its most primitive forms through to modern day. With a life span of approximately 100 years, the tuatara should also be included. Growing to an average of 18 inches in length, the tuatara is a living descendent of the order of reptiles that were so abundant several hundred million years ago. Located in approximately 30 small islands off the coast of New Zealand, they have been reported to live between 150 and 200 years.




Longest Living Deep Sea Organisms

With the cold temperatures and lack of ageing genes, there are many sea-inhabiting organisms that have life spans far in excess of anything we could imagine. For example, an Antarctic sponge (cinachyra antarctica) that is reported as being up to 1550 years old has been found in the depths of the ocean. Quahog are a species of clam, and researchers have found a variety with a reported age of between 405-410 years in age.


Cinachyra Antarctica


Longest Living Sea Animals

The Bowhead whales have a life-span of approximately 130 years, whilst the oldest recorded lobster was reported as being 140 years old. Koi Carp also enjoys a long life-span with ages of up to 226 being documented and recorded.


Koi Carp
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