Life is short – for a mayfly, that’s actually true. It often lives only a few hours and does not even come to eat during its life. As a fly, it exists only to reproduce, even if it has lived a little longer as a larva. But there are also animals that can live for hundreds or thousands of years.
The Greenland shark (Photo: dpa)
The sea animals have the nose in front thereby quite clearly. Scientists have been trying for a long time to find out how it is possible that some animals become so old. It is known, for example, that many of these animals eat little, consume little oxygen and have a very slow metabolism. With them, the body runs on the back burner, so to speak. It’s like a car: If you drive it slowly and always at the same speed, the gasoline lasts longer.
Obviously, it is healthier not to rush too much. But age is relative: A Greenland shark is still young at 100 years of age. For a human being, however, 100 years is a very old age. But let’s be honest: Being stuck at the bottom of the ocean for 10000 years like the oldest animal in the world is boring, right??
The giant sponge
The oldest animal in the world is the sponge Anoxycalyx joubini. It lives attached to the seabed in the icy Antarctic. Probably it is more than 10000 years old, as biologists found out. This means that a specimen still living today was already in the world when our ancestors still lived in caves. He only manages this because he lives as if in slow motion. For example, it takes thousands of years for it to grow to its maximum size – two meters high and one meter wide.
The Icelandic mussel Arctica islandica will live to be about 500 years old, if nothing else happens. It is found in the Baltic Sea, among other places. The oldest specimen found was 507 years old. One knows this so exactly, because mussels have growth rings at their shell, like trees have annual rings.
Greenland sharks are the oldest vertebrates, researchers have now discovered. Vertebrates are called that because they have a spine. Greenland sharks can live up to 400 years, much older than bowhead whales, which were previously considered the oldest vertebrates, living up to 200 years. Only with 160 years these sharks can have offspring.
Also sea turtles become quite old. (Photo: AP)
The Galapagos giant tortoise "Harriet" lived in an Australian zoo and died of heart failure at the age of 176. Turtles generally become very old, not only because they are so cozy.
Macaws often become older than their owners. (Photo: dpa)
The yellow-breasted macaw Charlie is said to have reached 105 years of age. Parrots are the only birds that can grow older than a human being. So if you want to keep one as a pet, you should know that the animals are very loyal and can accompany their owners for a lifetime.
By Jasmin Krsteski
The new Duda
Subscribe to "Duda – Your Newspaper! Here you can read how it works.