Animals continue to astound and capture the imagination of humanity for years. We share the world with some extraordinary creatures and more than a few have impressed scientists with their longevity and robust health. From the whales in the deepest seas to the birds in the sky, here are some of the most lively and oldest-lived creatures in the world.
There are elkhorn coral in Florida and the Caribbean that are over 5000 years old!
The deep seas have some of the oldest creatures in the world and few are as long-lived as the mighty elkhorn coral. These hearty critters have been the object of fascination for oceanographers and marine biologists, with some samples of the coral dating back 5000 years!
Climate change scientists discover a 500 year old clam during the course of their studies.
Scientists doing research on the effects of climate change collected a variety of specimens from the ocean floor, including a ocean quahog (a type of clam) off the coast of Iceland. After studying this particular specimen and naming it Ming, the scientists concluded that Ming was over 500 years old!
Greenland Sharks, which are native to the North Atlantic, can get up to 400 years old
Sharks often wind up on animal longevity news stories but few can get as old as the Greenland Shark. These guys prowl the waters of the North Atlantic, where they can live up to an incredible four centuries.
No one really knows the secret behind their longevity, but scientists theorize that the age might have something to do with the creature's incredibly slow rate of growth. They only grow about 1 centimeter per year.
The Bowhead whale, which can live to be 200 years old, is the oldest mammal in the world.
The bowhead whale is a majestic titan of the oceans. Named for its distinctive head shape, the bowhead has the largest mouth of any sea creature out there. Even more interesting, it's the longest-lived mammal in the world. They usually live to be about 200 at the outmost, but some records have shown them living as long as 215 years.
Jonathan the Giant Tortoise has lived an amazing 187 years
This is a photo of a giant sea tortoise. These gigantic fellows are a marvel of scientific study, with one particular speciman (affectionately named Jonathan by the scientists studying him) living an incredible 187 years at his Seychelles home.
Fred the Cockatoo is officially a member of the century club
The average lifespan of a cockatoo is usually around 60 years, but some thrive in captivity and are able to live much longer. One in particular, Fred, a sulfur-crested cockatoo at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania, Australia, is now 104.
No doubt ol' Fred is happily enjoying his golden years and is well taken care of.
The oldest female gorilla living today is thought to be 61.
Pictured in the photo is Fatou, a beautiful gorlla living in the Berlin Zoo, eating her birthday cake Fatou is a remarkable example of her species, as most live between 30 to 40 years in the wild and around 50 in captivity. The great lady of the Berlin zoo will hopefully be around for a long while to come.