From the infamous 392-year-old “Greenland shark” to a 190-year-old tortoise in Seychelles, particular creatures may survive to surprisingly ancient ages. We are getting closer to understanding why some animal species can live for a very long time—much longer than humans—thanks to two recent scientific research.
The first, printed in Science, disproved a few ideas regarding the longevity of reptiles and amphibians, including tortoises. It was discovered that most reptiles and amphibians age at varying rates and that, somewhat counterintuitively, having cold blood does not always mean having a long lifetime.
The following are the four extinct creatures and the extraordinary lives they led:
Granddad the Lungfish
Granddad, an Australian lungfish, is the world’s oldest tank fish. Granddad’s age of death was determined by our most current study using a DNA-based approach. He was 109 years old.
He led an extraordinary life. Granddad traveled from Australia to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933 for 20 days, and more than 100 million people came to see him at the John G. Shedd Aquarium.
The remarkable capacity to breathe air from a single lung during dry times when streams become sluggish, or the water quality declines is demonstrated by Australian lungfish, as the name indicates.
The species, which is currently endangered, has an ancient pedigree. The Australian Lungfish is the only living ancestor of all “tetrapods” on land, which includes frogs, humans, and even dinosaurs. Tetrapods are creatures with four legs.
Cocky Bennett the Cockatoo
Another long-lived animal from Australia was Cocky Bennett, a sulfur-crested cockatoo. Cocky Bennett had a lifespan of 119. When Cocky passed away in 1916, the Sea Breeze Hotel in Blakehurst, New South Wales, even published an obituary in memory of him.
When other birds bothered him, Cocky repeatedly retaliated with “one at a time, gents, please” and “one feather more, and I’ll fly.” However, because of an illness, Cocky spent the last two decades of his incredibly long life nearly completely without feathers and with a large, bent, and twisted beak.
Cocky Bennett is rumored to have traveled the world seven times and spent 78 years traveling with a ship captain before becoming the owner of the Sea Breeze Hotel.
The Greenland Shark
According to considerable research, an estimated 400 years are lived by a Greenland shark.
The Greenland shark is considered to have the most extended lifespan of any vertebrate species. Almost nothing is known about Greenland sharks. However, a 2016 radiocarbon dating research determined that one was 392 years old.
These well-known sharks, which dwell well below the surface of the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans, also develop at one of the slowest rates—roughly one centimeter each year. Nevertheless, the length of these ocean monsters might exceed 5 meters.
The lifespan of Greenland sharks is a subject about which little is known. It is believed that the arctic waters’ freezing may contribute to their lifespan by slowing their metabolism.
Ming the Clam
The ocean quahog is the species with the most extended lifespan, with several individuals living for over 400 years. It is the only invertebrate on our list and is classified as a clam (or marine bivalve mollusk). Like the Greenland shark, this species may be found in the chilly North Atlantic Ocean waters.
“Ming,” a sea quahog, lived for 507 years. He was found off the shore of Iceland in 1499 and was given the name after the Chinese dynasty in control. His age was determined by counting the growth rings on its shell, just like you would with a tree.
Similar to the Greenland shark, nothing is known about why ocean quahogs survive for a long time. Its lengthy life span could be attributed to the calmer waters.