The Top 5 Animals with the Longest Lifespan

  Animal Lifespan
1 Turritopsis Dohrnii
(Immortal jellyfish)
Potentially forever.
2 Quahog
(Hard clam)
200 years +
3 Giant tortoise 150 years +
4 Killer whale 100 years +
5 Sea anemone 80 years.
Tags: Animals & Nature, Top 5 Longest

Sources:  Top 5 of Anything Research.

List Notes: This list compiles the longest animal lives ever recorded by man. Animals usually live much shorter lives but it's also quite possible for them to live longer than displayed here (except for the immortal jellyfish of course). Lifespan as defined here is the longest recorded lifespan except for the immortal jellyfish (again for obvious reasons).
Animals with the Longest Lifespan
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 Facts
  1. Technically the immortal jellyfish is quite probably the longest living creature because it can potentially live forever. According a recent study the immortal jellyfish (scientific name: Turritopsis dohrnii) transforms itself from an adult back into a baby through a process known as "transdifferentiation", in which one type of cell transforms into another. The jellyfish can repeat this process over and over again into infinity (though likely only as an emergency measure). When starvation, physical damage, or other crises arise, instead of certain death, Turritopsis transforms all of its existing cells into a younger state.
  2. A Quahog (clam) collected in 2006 by Paul Butler and James Scourse during a data collection cruise in Icelandic coastal waters in 2006 is reported to be more than 400 years old. To put this in perspective, this clam lived in the time of Shakespeare.
  3. The Giant Tortoise moves at an approximate rate of 0.16 miles per hour, can keep growing for 30 to 40 years, and can reach lengths of more than 1.2 meters and weights of 350 kilograms (771 lbs). It is possible that Giant Tortoises which are alive today were actually hatching during Darwin's visit to the Galapagos islands. The Giant Tortoise is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  4. Although its called a "whale" a killer whale is actually a member of the dolphin family and is the largest dolphin. The dorsal fins of male killer whales are the tallest of any cetacean in the world, growing up to 1.8 m (6 ft). The mortality rate of killer whale calves is quite high - over 40% of resident calves die in their first six months. Male killer whales can reach lengths up to 8.2 meters (27 feet) and can weigh up to 5,443 kilograms (12,000 lbs). A killer whale's brain is 5 times larger than a humans.
  5. There are more than 1,000 sea anemone species found throughout the world's oceans at various depths, although the largest and most varied occur in coastal tropical waters. They run the full spectrum of colors and can be as small as half an inch (1.25 centimeters) or as large as 6 feet (1.8 meters) across.
Top 5 facts sources: a. Top 5 of Anything research, b. Immortal Jellyfish: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/01/090130-immortal-jellyfish-swarm.html

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