Long-Lived Animals

Not only humans have long lifespans. There are animals that may live up to 100 years and even more! Let's take a look at some of these long-living creatures.

Bowhead Whale
Bowhead Whale
The Bowhead whale is the only baleen whale endemic to the Arctic and subarctic waters. It is named after its characteristic massive triangular skull, which it uses to break through Arctic ice. Bowheads have the largest mouth of any animal representing almost one-third of the length of the body, the longest baleen plates with a maximum length of 4 meters (13 feet), and they are may be the longest-lived mammals, with the ability to reach an age of ...
more than 200 years. These amazing mammals are able to dive and remain submerged underwater for up to an hour and can reach a depth down to 150 m (500 ft). They are slow swimmers but when fleeing from danger, Bowheads can travel at a speed of 10 km/h (6.2 mph).
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Bowhead Whale
Galápagos Tortoise
Galápagos Tortoise
The Galápagos tortoise is one of the longest-lived species in the animal kingdom. Their life expectancy in the wild is thought to be over 100 years, while in captivity they can live up to 177 years. Galápagos tortoises are native to seven of the Galápagos Islands and Spanish explorers, who discovered the islands in the 16th century, named them after the Spanish galápago, meaning "tortoise". These massive creatures acquire most of their moi ...
sture from the dew and sap in vegetation; therefore, they can survive longer than 6 months without water. They can endure up to a year when deprived of all food and water, surviving by breaking down their body fat to produce water as a byproduct. When thirsty, they may drink large quantities of water very quickly, storing it in their bladders and the "root of the neck", both of which served to make them useful water sources on ships.
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Galápagos Tortoise
Blue-Throated Macaw
Blue-Throated Macaw
Blue-throated macaws are found only in a small area of north-central Bolivia. In 2014 these brightly colored birds were designated by law as a natural patrimony of Bolivia, where they are known as 'barba azul', which means 'blue beard' in Spanish. Until 2010, they were hunted by natives to make feathered "Moxeño" headdresses for "machetero" ritual dances. Blue-throated macaws may live up to 80 years and start to breed only when they are 5 years ...
old. They are very rare in the wild and although plentiful in captivity, these birds are critically endangered in the wild and are protected by trading prohibitions.
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Blue-Throated Macaw
African Bush Elephant
African Bush Elephant
African bush elephants are found across 37 African countries. They are endangered species and are threatened foremost by habitat destruction, and also by poaching for meat and ivory. The valuable tusks of these animals erupt when they are 1-3 years old and grow throughout life. Tusks of males grow faster than tusks of females and at the age of 60 years they can weigh 109 kg (240 lb) in males and 17.7 kg (39.0 lb) in females, however, African ...
bush elephants can live up to 75 years old!
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African Bush Elephant
Black-Browed Albatross
Black-Browed Albatross
Black-browed albatrosses are large seabirds that can have a natural lifespan of over 70 years. They are the most widespread and common members of their family. These birds live in noisy colonies as they bray to mark their territory, and also cackle harshly. They use their fanned tail in courting displays and may steal food from other species.
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Black-Browed Albatross
Major Mitchell's Cockatoo
Major Mitchell's Cockatoo
With its soft-textured white and salmon-pink plumage and large, bright red and yellow crest, Major Mitchell's cockatoo is often described as the most beautiful of all cockatoos. The populations of this species have declined as a result of man-made changes to the arid interior of their native Australia. These birds have a very long lifespan and the oldest recorded Major Mitchell's cockatoo died at 83 years old.
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Major Mitchell's Cockatoo
Common Hippo
Common Hippo
The Common hippo is a large, mostly herbivorous, semiaquatic mammal and ungulate native to sub-Saharan Africa. Its name comes from the ancient Greek for "river horse" (ἱπποπόταμος). A hippo's lifespan is typically 40-50 years, however, in captivity, it may survive up to 65 years of age. After the elephant and rhinoceros, the hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal and the heaviest extant hoofed animal. Despite their physical resemblance ...
to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, the closest living relatives of the hippos are cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises, etc.), from which they diverged about 55 million years ago. Despite their stocky shape and short legs, hippos are capable of running 30 km/h (19 mph) over short distances and are among the most dangerous animals in the world due to their highly aggressive and unpredictable nature.
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Common Hippo
Great White Pelican
Great White Pelican
Great white pelicans are large water birds characterized by a long beak and a large throat pouch used for catching prey and draining water from the scooped-up contents before swallowing. These huge birds may live up to 50 years and they are well adapted for aquatic life. Their short strong legs and webbed feet propel them in water and aid a rather awkward takeoff from the water surface. In flight, pelicans are elegant soaring birds. Once aloft, ...
they are powerful fliers and often travel in spectacular linear, circular, or V-formation groups.
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Great White Pelican
Greater Flamingo
Greater Flamingo
The Greater flamingo is the most widespread and largest species of the flamingo family. Most of its plumage is pinkish-white; this coloration comes from the carotenoid pigments in the organisms that live in their feeding grounds. Secretions of their preen gland also contain carotenoids. During the breeding season, Greater flamingos increase the frequency of their spreading preen secretions over their feathers and thereby enhance their color. ...
This cosmetic use of preen secretions has been described as applying "make-up". In the wild, Greater flamingos may live up to 40 years, however, their typical lifespan in captivity is over 60 years.
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Greater Flamingo
Western Gorilla
Western Gorilla
Western gorillas are long-lived and may survive for as long as 40 years in the wild. They are the largest living primates. The DNA of gorillas is highly similar to that of humans, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after chimpanzees and bonobos. Gorillas are considered highly intelligent. They can laugh, grieve, have "rich emotional lives", develop strong family bonds, make and use tools, and think about the past and ...
future. Some researchers believe gorillas have spiritual feelings or religious sentiments. They may even have cultures in different areas revolving around different methods of food preparation and will show individual color preferences. Western gorillas also use tools in the wild.
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Western Gorilla
Ostrich
Ostrich
Ostriches are one of the longest-living bird species. In captivity, they may live up to 62 years and 7 months. In the wild ostriches normally spend the winter months in pairs or alone. However, during the breeding season and sometimes during extreme rainless periods, they live in nomadic groups that may contain up to 100 birds (led by a top hen). These groups often travel together with other grazing animals, such as zebras or antelopes. Contrary ...
to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in sand to avoid danger. This may have been a misunderstanding of their sticking their heads in the sand to swallow sand and pebbles to help digest their fibrous food, or, as National Geographic suggests, of the defensive behavior of lying low, so that they may appear from a distance to have their head buried. Another possible origin for the myth lies with the fact that ostriches keep their eggs in holes in the sand instead of nests and must rotate them using their beaks during incubation; digging the hole, placing the eggs, and rotating them might each be mistaken for an attempt to bury their heads in the sand.
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Ostrich
Rüppell's Vulture
Rüppell's Vulture
Rüppell's vulture is a large bird of prey that has a long lifespan achieving up to 50 years. It is considered to be the highest-flying bird, with confirmed evidence of a flight at an altitude of 11,300 m (37,000 ft) above sea level. Despite that Rüppell's vultures are relatively slow birds, cruising at 35 kilometers per hour (22 mph). They fly for 6 to 7 hours every day and will fly as far as 150 kilometers (93 mi) from a nest site to find food. R ...
üppell's vultures have several adaptations to their diet; they are specialized feeders and will gorge themselves until they can barely fly.
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Rüppell's Vulture