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20 record-breaking, death-defying animals

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By Caroline D├ęcoste, Espresso

When it comes to animal longevity we often think of the turtle, but did you know that sharks and mollusks, for example, can live for hundreds of years? Here are 20 record-breaking, death-defying animals.


Greenland shark

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This shark, second in size only to the great white, swims in the glacial waters off of Greenland and has a life expectancy of an astonishing 272 years!


Tuatara

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The tuatara is descended from a now extinct branch of dinosaurs and is often referred to as a “living fossil.” These reptiles can live up to 100 years.


Bowhead whale

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Perhaps it’s cold water that fills their fountain of youth. The bowhead whale measures 20 metres (65 feet) long, weighs 100 tonnes, and can live to between 150 and 200 years of age.


Olm

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This cave-dwelling salamander has a life span of between 58 and 70 years. This may seem a bit short, but it’s actually three to five times longer than is normal for an amphibian.


Sulphur crested cockatoo

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This common Australian parrot can live as long as a human, about 70 years. Some have even reached the ripe old age of 100.


Turtle

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Turtles are the longest living land animals and can easily live up to 100 years. Jonathan, a turtle living in the Seychelles, is currently 187 years old!


Elephant

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Their memories are legendary, as are their gestation periods (22 months). Elephants also live to be quite old, up to 80 and even 90 years of age.


Lobster

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Lobsters live, on average, between 40 and 50 years, but it’s not unheard of for those who manage to escape the fisherman’s net and the chef’s garlic butter to live to 100 years of age.


Red sea urchin

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Look for this invertebrate’s spectacular appearance in the waters off California and Japan. Some researchers say they can live between 100 and 200 years.


Sturgeon

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There are 27 species of sturgeon in the world, and they all live in the Northern Hemisphere. Most sturgeons live to between 55 and 80 years of age, but some species can easily reach up to 150 years.


Crocodile

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On average, crocodiles live for 90 years. But some, namely those in captivity, can top 100 years.


Orange roughy

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Also known as the slimehead, this orange-headed fish only reaches sexual maturity at 20 years of age, but can live up to around 149 years.


Freshwater pearl mussel

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Among invertebrates, the freshwater pearl mussel has one of the longest life expectancies at up to 150 years.


Tube worm

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The species of tube worm known as Lamellibrachia luymesi resides in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, specifically at depths of over 1,000 metres (3,280 feet). Colonies of Lamellibrachia live between 170 and 250 years.


Geoduck clam

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Known as the royal clam and prized in Asian cuisine, the geoduck clam can live over 150 years comfortably hidden at the bottom of the ocean.


Oreosomatidae

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This family of Southern-Hemisphere fish is comprised of four distinct species, including the John Dory from New Zealand, and can easily live to 140 years old.


Arctica islandica quahog

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This cousin to the clam, a bivalve mollusk, is the world’s oldest animal. A specimen named Ming in honour of the Chinese dynasty was 507 years old when it died!


Monorhaphis chuni sponge

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The term “animal” taken in its widest sense can certainly include the sea sponge, a creature capable of attaining the unbelievable age of 11,000 years old!


Turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish

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Named the immortal jellyfish, this astounding creature never seems to die. Its secret? It can transform back into a polyp (its younger, immobile stage) before regenerating, becoming an adult jellyfish, and so on.


Rougheye rockfish

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This Pacific Ocean fish can grow up to one metre (3.28 feet) long and is one of the planet’s longest-living fish. One specimen found near Alaska was 205 years old.

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Bloom Magazine: 20 record-breaking, death-defying animals
20 record-breaking, death-defying animals
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