Many sea animals such as sea urchins, lobsters, and some clams have relatively high rates of mortality in the ocean due to harvesting and fishing. But when they are left alone, they could live up to 100 years or longer.
There’s a single creature on earth that could live longer than the rest of us. Let’s find out the creature gifted with immortality and the other longest living animals on the planet.
10- ROUGHEYE ROCKFISH
The fish are also known as the black throat rockfish or the blacktip rockfish grows to a maximum of about 97 cm in length and is extremely long-lived.
The fish is among the longest-living aquatic creatures and has been known to reach the age of 200 years. The rockfish inhabits the underwater between 560 feet and 2,200 feet of the Pacific Ocean.
The rough rockfish is so-called because it can have ten spines along the lower rim of its eyes. It is pink, tan, or brownish with irregular patches of brown on its bony flap. The fish feeds on shrimps, crabs, fish, amphipods, and mysids.
9- RED SEA URCHINS
The red sea urchin lives in shallow waters of the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Baja California. It is typically found on rocky shores sheltered from extreme wave action.
A sea urchin’s spherical body is completely covered by sharp spines that can grow up to 8 cm. Its preferred diet is seaweeds, kelp, and algae, which scrapes off and tears up from the seafloor.
The red sea urchin often exceeds 30 years, and scientists have found some specimens to be over 200 years old.
8- BOWHEAD WHALES
The bowhead whale is a dark-colored whale without a dorsal fin, it is second only to the blue whale in length, but could live up to 60 -70 years, similar to other whales. Some studies suggest that some bowhead whales reached 150–200 years old.
One whale in particular was believed to have lived to be 211 years of age and 4 other bowheads were found to have lived more than a hundred years old.
7- SHORTRAKER ROCKFISH
The shortraker rockfish is an offshore, demersal species that occurs from the southeastern Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, to Fort Bragg, California. The fish can grow greater than one metre and weighs up to 44 pounds.
Since 1991 harvesting of shortraker rockfish had been limited to prevent over-fishing and harvesting. In 2007, fishermen caught a short rake rockfish that weighed in at 62 pounds and was measured at 112 centimeters.
It was caught south of the Pribilof Islands at an estimated depth of 2,100 feet, and the specimen was estimated to be between 90 and 115 years old.
6- FRESHWATER PEARL MUSSELS
The freshwater pearl mussel is an aquatic bivalve mollusc and is considered by marine biologists as endangered species. Freshwater pearl mussels thrive in clean, fast-flowing streams and rivers, they can adapt to new environments and climate.
Juvenile mussel requires clean sand and gravel for food and oxygen. The freshwater pearl mussel is one of the longest-living invertebrates in existence. One oldest known specimen in Estonia was caught in 1993 when it was 134 years old.
5- WARTY OREO
The warty oreo is a marine fish that occurs in all southern oceans at depths of between 300 and 1,600 m. Its length is up to 42 cm. Warty oreos live in the waters of continental slopes, and they form in large schools over rough terrain.
Young warty oreos are pelagic and reside in shallow waters of the oceans – less than a kilometer in depth. They eat other fish, as well as cephalopods and shrimp.
The eggs and larvae of warty Oreos live on or near the surface of the sea. They are very long-living creatures, the oldest living to be 210 years old. This sets it as the longest living macroinvertebrate in the world.
Tortoises are reclusive land-dwelling animals that are famed for being long-lived. An average size tortoise could live to be about 100 years old depending on its health and the environment it thrives in.
Records showed that Adwaita a male giant tortoise from a zoo in India lived up to 250 years old. Another tortoise named Timothy from Greece died in 2004 at age 160, while Harriet, a Galápagos tortoise, lived for 175 years-it died in 2006.
Furthermore, a record-breaking Seychelles giant tortoise called Jonathan from the island of Saint Helena was reported to be about 182 years old, and may therefore be the oldest living reptile on earth once the claim is verified.
3- OCEAN QUAHOG
Ocean quahogs are typical cockle-shaped bivalve found mainly around the Scottish coast. The mollusks don’t move much, burrow deep into sand or mud and live there for long periods of time.
They use small tubes or siphons to draw food and oxygen from the surface without needing to come up to feed or breathe. Ocean quahogs could live to be over 400 years old, they grow very slow that once their numbers have been reduced the populations can take a long time to recover.
2- ANTARCTIC SPONGE
Antarctic sponge naturally occurs in the Antarctic ocean. The low temperatures of the Antarctic region made this creature immobile and slow in growth. The creature has no outer shell and may look like a deep water plant making it very susceptible to predators.
But when left alone, the plant can thrive for centuries, millennia even. The Antarctic sponge was once dated by scientists, and the specimen was estimated to be 1,550 years old.
The jellies are free-swimming marine animals consisting of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. Its misshapen umbrella throbs for locomotion and the tentacles can be used to capture prey.
Jellyfish inhabits every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea and only a few inhabit freshwater. The gelatinous creature thrives at least 500 million years or possibly more. But a certain type of jellyfish lives for eternity.
The Turritopsis dohrnii specie is the only animal capable of reverting completely to the polyp stage after having reached a certain age. When the “immortal jellyfish” is exposed to environmental stress, is sick or old, it can revert to the polyp stage, forming a new polyp colony through the process of transdifferentiation or lineage reprogramming.