As time passes by, man’s lifespan reduces. From the days when the likes of Methuselah would live as many as a thousand years, to today when you can barely get past 80, things are changing fast. But even in the midst of this, there are still animals that defy the odds and live longer. Some live to ages none could ever imagine.
But first, let’s define what oldest living means in this context. It simply refers to an individual or animal that is on record to have spent the highest number of days alive. It is important to note that some people may have lived longer than others but they are not recognized because it is not on record.
If not on record, you cannot defend that. It remains an allegation that may never warrant you the title of the oldest living being. Besides, the claims must be verified. This is to stop anyone who wants to gain the advantage of the situation and falsely claim the tag.
Interesting Facts about Living Animals
There are interesting topics about animals you’d want to learn about. You’d be amazed to know that some plants’ mortality rates actually reduce with age.
For human beings, the chances of dying at old age are higher. That is why most insurance companies aren’t ready to provide covers for older people. They tend to lose their lives more easily as time passes by.
Plants like hydras behave differently. Their survival chances increase as they age. In fact, it gets to a point where the plants stop growing old. These are observations made out of years of study. Perhaps that is why some of those plants and animals have lived the longest.
They do not age nor die. They are just there, eating and excreting. They fit so well in the ecosystem and have mastered the art of survival.
There’s another special category that regresses and strangely regrows. They never attain full maturity like humans and then die. They somehow grow old, young again, then old. The circle continues and the species continue to grow young and old.
It is hard to establish the lifespan of such kinds of species. That is why some of these plants and animals may not be serious considerations for the longest living organisms. To be considered the world’s oldest animal, the mammal must have a lifespan.
That way, it is possible to consider the animal for this category once it starts to live past the lifespan. The more days they live the higher the chances of becoming the oldest.
That which has lived the longest time between when it was born and now, or when it died will carry the day. The animal with the longest difference between existence and disappearance or continuity will be considered the oldest.
It takes different verification processes before a final decision is made. Once it’s been decided, the oldest animal will enjoy and carry the tag. It takes ages, even generations, to break these records.
The World’s Oldest Animals
Having the description of the oldest animal at the back of your mind, we can now focus on the world’s oldest animals based on these definitions. They have lived the longest on this earth and have a particular lifespan that doesn’t alternate with time.
Besides, their morbidity and mortality rates can be accounted for. They die at a particular age and so the “oldest” tagline can be linked with living beyond the lifespan period and the fact that they’ve outlived other animals.
There are three humans believed to be the oldest. Jeanne Calment died in 1997 after living a staggering 122 years and 164 days. Her life is documented and therefore these allegations can be proven.
There are rumors that some people might have lived for more years than her. But the fact that it cannot be verified means Jeanne retains the record.
Jiroemon Kimura lived for approximately 116 years and 54 days. He is said to be the longest living man. His was documented and that’s why it stands even after he died in 2013.
Kane Tanaka is still alive at the age of 118+ years. She was born in 1903 and remains the oldest person alive. Rumors have it that there are more others older than her. But the fact that it can’t be verified means they will stay as rumors.
The longest living tortoise was called Adwaita. The animal lived for close to 255 years. After its death in 2006, the journey to verify these claims started. Until now, it is still a work in progress.
It is much work to verify these details as some information may be missing or not tallying. If the verification goes through, Adwaita will run with this tag of the world’s oldest animal. He lived for two and a half centuries, and even more. No terrestrial animal has lived that long.
Harriet, Jonathan, Timothy, and Malila are also tortoises that have lived for many years. Most of them lived for close to two centuries or less. The tortoise family is one of the few animal species that live the longest.
Another animal in the animal kingdom that lived long is the elephant. Dakshayani lived for about 89 years only to die in 2019. She is believed to be the oldest elephant to have lived to see for 89 years. And that’s why she is referred to as the grandmother of all elephants.
She was the property of a royal family in Asia and was well taken care of. His ownership would later be transferred but that could not save her. She died but will always be remembered for the record years she spent on earth.
Lin Wang was the other elephant that lived long but couldn’t live longer than Dakshayani. Lin was so close but died at the age of 86 in 2003. Lin Wang initially held the record but was surpassed by Dayakshayani in 2016/2017. The latter went on to live for three years before resting.
The world has many other old animals. The only challenge is in the documentation and verification of some of these claims.