Check out the oldest living organisms in the world! From immortal creatures to strange and crazy lifeforms, this top 10 list of longest living species on earth is amazing!
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Macaws are the largest type of parrot and their bright colors are perfect for their life in the forest! Native to South America, these birds can live anywhere between 60 and 80 years! Almost all macaw species are either threatened, critically endangered or extinct.
Because of their long life, pet macaws are often included in wills and end of life plans as they can easily outlive their owners.
The oldest living macaw is a foul-mouthed blue macaw named Charlie the Curser. She was supposedly born in 1899 and is still alive to this day. Charlie’s current owner claims to have purchased the bird from Winston Churchill’s estate after Churchill died in 1965. He also claims the bird was Winston Churchill’s favorite pet. This claim, however, is hotly debated. What is certain that whoever owned Charlie during World War II taught her dirty phrases about Hitler and the Nazis. Later on, she was kept in the back of a shop where all of the workers would teach her all kinds of swear words. In fact, Charlie’s potty mouth was such a problem that the current owner couldn’t sell Charlie in as he had originally planned. Now Charlie is much older and rarely makes any noise so it is hard to say. Journalists have tried to interview her to no avail.
Elephants, depending on the species, can live up to 60 or 70 years in ideal conditions. However, it is difficult to really determine their average age as they face many threats in the wild from poachers, and in Asia many are used as labor animals so they tend to live about 40 years.
A recent study in Zimbabwe found that female African elephants can potentially remain fertile up until their death. Another study in 2008 suggested that wild elephants do much better than elephants in zoos, whose lifespan is only about 20 years which is quite shocking.
Despite all that, the oldest elephant on record was a captive Asian elephant named Lin Wang. Wang died in a Taiwanese zoo at the age of 86. Over those nearly nine decades, Wang managed to live a very adventurous life. He moved supplies for the Japanese army during World War II before the Chinese captured him along with a dozen other elephants. He survived a trek from China to Burma that killed six elephants. While in Burma, he helped build monuments and joined a circus.
In 1949, Wang was taken to Taiwan with people fleeing the new Communist regime in China. Of the original 13 captured elephants, he was the last one alive. He was placed in the zoo where he lived until he died in 2003.
10. Long-finned Eel
The long-finned eel is native to New Zealand and Australia. They often live up to sixty years old. Two interesting facts about these eels. First, they only breed once and only at the end of their lives. They leave their rivers to go to the sea to breed. Secondly, the Maori word for eel is “tuna”.
The oldest living long-finned eel is recorded to have been 106 years old. It’s believed that their long lifespans come from the fact that these eels grow really slowly and have a slow metabolism.
We usually refer to an old person or thing as a “dinosaur”. When it comes to tuataras, it is less a metaphor and more of an accurate description. The two species of this lizard are the surviving members of an older one that flourished 200 million years ago. Tuataras are living dinosaurs! They are also the longest-lived vertebrates. Some individuals have lived between 100 and 200 years old!
Currently, a tuatara named Henry is the oldest of its kind in New Zealand. Henry is 120 years old and lives at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery. He’s still fertile in his old age, successfully becoming a father at the age of 111. In 2015, Henry had the honor of meeting Prince Harry of Wales.
8. Red Sea Urchins
Found only in the Pacific Ocean, mostly along North America’s west coast, the red sea urchin lives in shallow, sometimes rocky waters. They prefer calmer waters to wavy areas. What makes these spiky sea creatures so interesting is their long life span. Some specimens have been discovered to be more than 200 years old. However, the average life span appears to be more like fifty years. Nature is rough and many animals are not able to live to their full potential.
Another interesting thing is that they seem to show no signs of aging.
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