Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

In the Mediterranean there is a meadow of sea grass thought to be over 100,000 years old. In the White Mountains of California, there stands a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine that researchers estimate is 5,063 years old. But plants aren't the only organisms that know how to grow old. Here are nineteen Methuselahs of the animal kingdom.

Ming (1499-2006), an ocean quahog clam, dredged alive from the bottom of the North Atlantic near Iceland in 2006 with 200 others, and put in a freezer (it's a common practice) to take them to the United Kingdom's Bangor University.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

First the researchers thought it was 405 years old, but after a reanalysis in 2013 it turns out that it was more than hundred years older.

(via Trendolizer)

Adwaita (means "the only one"), a male Aldabra giant tortoise, given to Robert Clive of the East India Company by British seafarers who captured him on an atoll in the Seychelles. Adwaita was born in the early 1750s, and died in the Alipore Zoological Gardens of Kolkata, India in 2006.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

The tortoise was died because of liver failure, caused by a wound developed in the flesh underneath his cracked shell.

(Photo by AP/Bikas Das)

Hanako (1751-1977), a koi fish lived 226 years (its average lifespan is only 50!) in Japan. It was born five years before Mozart and died in the same year as Elvis Presley.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(via digitaljournal)

The oldest bowhead whale was 211 years old at the time of its death in the 1990s.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

The age of these animals were measured in a really interesting way, according to Alaska Science Forum:

George sent Bada 48 frozen bowhead eyeballs, each about the size of a billiard ball, he and other biologists had saved from whale hunts in Barrow, Gambell, Wainwright, Point Hope, and Savoonga from 1978 to 1997.

Bada found that most of the adult whales were between 20 and 60 years old when they died, but five males were much older. One was 91, one was 135, one 159, one 172, and the oldest whale was 211 years old at the time of its death.

Bada explained that the method of measuring changes in aspartic acid to determine age has an accuracy range of about 16 percent, which means the 211 year-old bowhead could have been from 177 to 245 years old.

(via Oceana)

Tu'i Malila (1777-1965), a radiated tortoise from Madagascar, allegedly given to the Tongan royal family in 1777 by James Cook.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(via pbase)

Jonathan (1832-), a Seychelles giant tortoise lives on the island of Saint Helena. The 182 year-old turtle lives on the island since 1882.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

A photo taken during the Boer War, around 1900:

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(via Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Wikimedia Commons)

Harriet (c. 1830-2006), a Galápagos turtle, probably collected by Charles Darwin in 1835 and brought it home to England. Later it was transported to Australia by the HMS Beagle.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

Harriet was thought to be a male until the 1960s, so she lived as Harry for more than 120 years.

(via Reddit)

Timothy (c. 1839-2004), a Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoise, lived for 165 years. He was discovered aboard a Portuguese corsair in 1854 and served as a mascot on Navy vessels until 1892, saw the first bombardment of Sevastopol in the Crimean War from HMS Queen, and travelled to the East Indies and China, among others.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

After her retirement she lived at Powderham Castle until her death in 2004. After an attempt to mate him in 1926 failed, it was established that Timothy is a female. In the last years, she had a written tag says "My name is Timothy. I am very old – please, do not pick me up."

(via Wikimedia Commons)

George, the lobster (c. 1869-), captured off the coast of Newfoundland in December 2008, sold to a seafood restaurant in New York City as a mascot, but few weeks later the animal rights group PETA released the 140-year-old, 20 lb. (9 kg) lobster back into waters.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(The image used as an illustration was taken by Maine State Aquarium, via AP)

Henry, a tuatara at the Southland Museum in New Zealand, born in 1897. This 18-24 in (45-61 cm) long reptile lives for about 60 years, but Henry is 117 years old now, and became a father only five years ago for the first time.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Charlie, the Curser (1899-), a 115-year-old female blue-and-yellow macaw living in a pet sanctuary in Reigate, United Kingdom.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Granny, or J2 (1911-), the oldest known killer whale alive. estimate to be 103 years old, and born in the same year when RMS Titanic was launched.

Lin Wang, or Grandpa Lin Wang (1917-2003), an Asian elephant served with both the Chinese Expeditionary Forces that fought for peace in Myanmar and India, and the Kuomintang forces. The army give her to Taipei Zoo, where she lived until the age of 86.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

With General Sun Li-jen, the "Rommel of the East" in 1947:

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(via cam111 and Wikimedia Commons)

Greater (also known as Flamingo 1), the world's oldest flamingo, died on January 30, 2014 in the Adelaide Zoo, Australia, nine months after it was beginning to show signs of arthritis. Greater's birth date (and sex) is unknown, but he was at least 83 (or 86) years old.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Thaao, the oldest Andean condor in captivity, (1930-2010) lived at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Cookie, a male Major Mitchell's Cockatoo, hatched on June 30, 1933 in Australia, now lives at Brookfield Zoo, near Chicago, Illinois.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

Cookie's species lives about 40-60 years in captivity. He was retired from exhibition in 2009 and now lives in the keepers' office.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Wisdom, the world's oldest Laysan albatross, born in 1951, banded in 1956, hatched more than 30 chicks.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

Albatrosses mate for life, but Wisdom could find one or two new partners in the last fifty years, because these birds have a lifespan of 15-40 years.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(via USFWS Pacific)

Old Billy, an English stallion, the oldest known horse ever lived. Old Billy was born in 1760, and worked as a barge horse until his death on November 27, 1822.

Animals That Doubled Their Expected Lifespan

(The painting by W. Taylor is from Atlas Obscura.)

Creme Puff (August 1967-August 2005), a female cat owned by Jake Perry, lived for 38 years and 3 days.

Jake had another long-lived cat named Granpa, who have been born in 1964 and died in 1998.