Top 5 Longest Living Animals in the World!

longest living animals
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There are many animals in the world. Every animal in this earth is unique creation of nature. Every animal possess some remarkable fascinating characteristics. Each animal have a lifespan of varying length. In this article, we will be discussing about Top 5 Longest living animals in the World.

Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms. The world is estimated to have more than 7 million species of animals of which only 1.5 million species has been described.

Let’s start our Epic Top 5 Countdown of Longest Living Animals in the World!

5. Tuatara

longest living animals

Tuatara are the fifth longest living animals in the world. They are reported to live for 100 to 200 years old. These are reptiles indigenous to New Zealand. Although they look like lizards they are not lizards. They belong to family Sphenodontidae. Tuatara’s scientific name is Sphenodon punctatus. They have spiky scales from the back up to the tail.

Tuatara are greyish and greenish brown in color. They measure up to 80 cm i.e. 31 inches. One of the wunique feature among Tuatara is the teeth in their upper jaw. They have two row of teeth in upper jaw and one row of teeth in lower jaw. Males are larger than females in Tuatara. Males weigh up to 1 kg and female up to 0.5 kg. They are terrestrial and nocturnal in nature. They have the optimum temperature requirement of 16 to 21 degree Celsius. They reproduce very slowly and thus are rare in nature. They require 15 to 20 years to reach physiological maturity. They lay eggs once in every four years. The reproduction in Tuatara occurs in every 3 to 5 years which is slowest in any reptile. Interesting thing about Tuatara is they have a third eye too which inspired a DC comics superhero with a third eye!

4. Galapagos giant Tortoises

longest living animals

Galapagos giant Tortoises are the fourth longest living animals in the world. They are reported to live for up to 170 years. They are the largest among the species of tortoises. They weigh upto 417 kg. They belong to family Testudinidae. It’s scientific name is Chelonoidis nigra. These tortoises are at the vulneralble stage of extinction and are rare according to International Union for Conservation of Nature. They are found only on two places in the world. The places are Galapagos islands which is 1000 km away from Ecuador and another place is Aldabra in the Indian ocean, 700 km east from Tanzania. Spanish explorers named these tortoise as Galapagos in 16th century which means Tortoise in Spanish.

These tortoises are vulnerable because of its excessive hunting for meat and oil, agricultural exploitation and introduction of exotic animals. They have saddle back, Intermediate and dome shaped shell structure. They are cold blooded animals. They walk at the morning or late afternoon time mostly and have an average speed of 0.3 kmph. They are herbivores and feed on leaves, grassesm lichens, melons, berries and spend 8 to 9 hours foraging for food. They can live upto 1 year when deprived of food and water. They have developed vision and smell but poor hearing ability. They mate between month of  February to June in humid region during rainy season. Females lays upto 16 eggs weighing between 82 to 157 grams. They become sexually matured at the age of 20 to 25 years. The threat to this tortoise are Poachers, Galapagos hawk that feeds on eggs and hatchlings, introduced mammals such as cats, dogs, black rats, etc and loss of habitat due to human over exploitation.

3. Bowhead Whale

longest living animals

Bowhead whale are the longest living animals in the world. They are reported to live for 211 years. They belong to family Balaenidae. It can grow upto 14 to 18 meters in length. It’s scientific name is Balaena mysticetus. During mating season they sing songs to invite for mating. The song is complex, variable and longer in nature. It has a thick body. It’s weight ranges from 75 to 100 tonnes.

They have a dark colored body. They possess massive triangular skull which is used to break the thick arctic ice for breathing. The type of skull is also the  reason of which it is called bow head whale. The longest bowhead whale male was recorded as 16.2 m and female as 18 m which were both measured in Alaska. They can reach upto a depth of 150 meters. They are slow swimmers with an average speed of 2-5 km/hr. They feed on Zooplanktons and around 2 tons is consumed everyday. They use sound of different frequency to communicate for feeding, traveling, reproduction, navigation and socialising. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 10 to 15 years and has a gestation period of 13 to 14 months. Its pradators are mainly humans and Killer whales. They have been killed for meat, oil, bones, baleen and their blubber.

2. Greenland Shark

longest living animals

Greenland shark is the second most living animals in the world. It is also known as the grey shark. It’s scientific name is Somniosus microcephalus. They are near threatened species in nature. It’s dorsal and pectoral fins are very small. They belong to family Somniosidae. They are mostly found in Atlantic ocean and Arctic ocean. It has the Longest lifespan among the vertebrate species. It is estimated to live for between 300 to 500 years. It’s meat is toxic which is caused by the presence of trimethylamine N-oxide in its tissues. It is consumed in Iceland as a delicacy after removing the toxins by suitable treatment.

They grow upto 6.4 to 7.3meters i.e. 21-24 feet long. They reach upto the weight of 1,000kg to 1,400 kg. Males are smaller than females. They are predator and feeds on fish.

1. Ocean Quahog

longest living animals

Ocean Quahog is the first among longest living animals in the world. The scientific name of this animal is Arctica islandica. They belong to family Arcticidae. It is indigenous to North Atlantic Ocean. It is commercially exploited for food purpose. This species is reported to have lived for up to 507 years.

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About the Author: Saroj Paudel