Special Report

50 Longest Living Animals in the World

Matthew Field / Wikimedia Commons

Human beings seem to be at the top of the food chain in the animal kingdom, but some creatures outlast humans in terms of longevity. Animals living on the land, in the air, and in water can last for many decades or even centuries.

Most animals people come into contact with on a daily basis, such as dogs and cats, will only live a fraction of their owners’ lives. But under the right circumstances, many animals worldwide can live for many decades or even centuries.

In order to find the 50 longest living animals in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data in the Human Ageing Genomic Resources database collection — specifically, the AnAge animal longevity database. These are the longest-living animals in the world.

Click here to see the 50 longest living animals in the world.
Click here to read our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: NOAA / Wikimedia Commons

50. Gray whale
> Oldest recorded: 77 years
> Average adult weight: 62,832 Lbs.
> Habitat: Pacific Ocean

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Source: Pedro Szekely / Wikimedia Commons

49. Andean condor
> Oldest recorded: 79 years
> Average adult weight: 23 Lbs.
> Habitat: South America

Source: Jeanne Luce / Wikimedia Commons

48. China rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 79 years
> Average adult weight: 2.0 Lbs.
> Habitat: Eastern Pacific Ocean

Source: Vassil / Wikimedia Commons

47. Australian lungfish
> Oldest recorded: 80 years
> Average adult weight: 88.2 Lbs.
> Habitat: Australia

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Source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

46. Silvergray rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 82 years
> Average adult weight: 5.7 Lbs.
> Habitat: Northeastern Pacific Ocean

Source: Aviceda / Wikimedia Commons

45. Pink cockatoo
> Oldest recorded: 83 years
> Average adult weight: 0.9 Lbs.
> Habitat: Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, and the Philippines

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

44. Baird’s beaked whale
> Oldest recorded: 84 years
> Average adult weight: 25,089 Lbs.
> Habitat: Northern Pacific Ocean

Source: NOAA / Wikimedia Commons

43. Splitnose rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 84 years
> Average adult weight: 1.0 Lbs.
> Habitat: Northeastern Pacific Ocean

Source: Phoebe / Wikimedia Commons

42. Canary rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 84 years
> Average adult weight: 5.5 Lbs.
> Habitat: Eastern Pacific Ocean

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Source: NOAA

41. Rosethorn rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 87 years
> Average adult weight: 2.7 Lbs.
> Habitat: Eastern Pacific Ocean

Source: David Perez (DPC) / Wikimedia Commons

40. European eel
> Oldest recorded: 88 years
> Average adult weight: 8.0 Lbs.
> Habitat: Atlantic Ocean

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Source: Mike Baird / Wikimedia Commons

39. Killer whale
> Oldest recorded: 90 years
> Average adult weight: 8,791 Lbs.
> Habitat: Oceans Worldwide

Source: Bernard Spragg / Flickr

38. Tuatara
> Oldest recorded: 90 years
> Average adult weight: 1.0 Lbs.
> Habitat: New Zealand

Source: shankar s. / Flickr

37. Atlantic halibut
> Oldest recorded: 90 years
> Average adult weight: 388 Lbs.
> Habitat: Eastern Atlantic Ocean

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Source: Ken Curtis / Wikimedia Commons

36. Quillback rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 90 years
> Average adult weight: 4.0 Lbs.
> Habitat: Eastern Pacific Ocean

Source: NOAA / Wikimedia Commons

35. Humpback whale
> Oldest recorded: 95 years
> Average adult weight: 66,139 Lbs.
> Habitat: Oceans Worldwide

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Source: United States Fish and Wildlife Service / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

34. Yellowmouth rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 99 years
> Average adult weight: 3.2 Lbs.
> Habitat: Eastern Pacific Ocean

Source: Derek Keats / Wikimedia Commons

33. American lobster
> Oldest recorded: 100 years
> Average adult weight: 4.0 Lbs.
> Habitat: Western Atlantic Ocean

Source: shankar s. / Flickr

32. Yangtze sturgeon
> Oldest recorded: 100 years
> Average adult weight: 772 Lbs.
> Habitat: China, Korea

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Source: Alexander Francis Lydon, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

31. European sturgeon
> Oldest recorded: 100 years
> Average adult weight: 485 Lbs.
> Habitat: Eastern Atlantic Ocean

Source: NOAA / Wikimedia Commons

30. Pacific ocean perch
> Oldest recorded: 100 years
> Average adult weight: 1.7 Lbs.
> Habitat: Northern Pacific Ocean

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Source: United Fisheries

29. Black oreo
> Oldest recorded: 100 years
> Average adult weight: 1.8 Lbs.
> Habitat: Southwestern Pacific Ocean

Source: Australian National Fish Collection

28. Spiky oreo
> Oldest recorded: 100 years
> Average adult weight: 2.4 Lbs.
> Habitat: Southeastern Atlantic

Source: Dr Tony Ayling / Wikimedia Commons

27. Smooth oreo
> Oldest recorded: 100 years
> Average adult weight: 6.1 Lbs.
> Habitat: Southwestern Pacific Ocean

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Source: Javier Ábalos Alvarez / Wikimedia Commons

26. Olm
> Oldest recorded: 102 years
> Average adult weight: 0.04 Lbs.
> Habitat: Adriatic Sea

Source: nostri-imago / Flickr

25. White sturgeon
> Oldest recorded: 104 years
> Average adult weight: 989 Lbs.
> Habitat: Eastern Pacific

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Source: Biodiversity Heritage Library / Flickr

24. Telescope cardinal
> Oldest recorded: 104 years
> Average adult weight: Unknown
> Habitat: North Atlantic Ocean

Source: Ed Bowlby, NOAA/Olympic Coast NMS; NOAA/OAR/Office of Ocean Exploration/NOAA Photo Library/Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

23. Redbanded rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 106 years
> Average adult weight: 5.4 Lbs.
> Habitat: Northern Pacific

Source: Don Ramey Logan / Wikimedia Commons

22. Blue whale
> Oldest recorded: 110 years
> Average adult weight: 299,828 Lbs.
> Habitat: Oceans Worldwide

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Source: NOAA /Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

21. Fin whale
> Oldest recorded: 114 years
> Average adult weight: 154,323 Lbs.
> Habitat: Oceans Worldwide

Source: NOAA / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

20. Sablefish
> Oldest recorded: 114 years
> Average adult weight: 69 Lbs.
> Habitat: Northern Pacific Ocean

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Source: NOAA / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

19. Shortspine thornyhead
> Oldest recorded: 115 years
> Average adult weight: 2.8 Lbs.
> Habitat: Northern Atlantic Ocean

Source: NOAA / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

18. Tiger rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 116 years
> Average adult weight: 2.7 Lbs.
> Habitat: Eastern Pacific Ocean

Source: Daniel Döhne / Wikimedia Commons

17. Beluga sturgeon
> Oldest recorded: 118 years
> Average adult weight: 2,512 Lbs.
> Habitat: Black Sea, Caspian Sea

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

16. Rasphead rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 118 years
> Average adult weight: 22 Lbs.
> Habitat: Eastern Pacific Ocean

Source: Dudva / Wikimedia Commons

15. European pond turtle
> Oldest recorded: 120 years
> Average adult weight: 2.2 Lbs.
> Habitat: Germany, Austria

 

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Source: Thinkstock

14. Human
> Oldest recorded: 122 years
> Average adult weight: 137 Lbs.
> Habitat: Worldwide

Source: Zeynel Cebeci / Wikimedia Commons

13. Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoise
> Oldest recorded: 127 years
> Average adult weight: 1.5 Lbs.
> Habitat: Mediterranean Region

Source: Stephen Friedt / Wikimedia Commons

12. Eastern box turtle
> Oldest recorded: 138 years
> Average adult weight: 1.5 Lbs.
> Habitat: Southeastern U.S.

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Source: Dr Tony Ayling / Wikimedia Commons

11. Warty oreo
> Oldest recorded: 140 years
> Average adult weight: 2.4 Lbs.
> Habitat: Oceans in the Southern Hemisphere

Source: NOAA

10. Orange roughy
> Oldest recorded: 149 years
> Average adult weight: 8.5 Lbs.
> Habitat: Western Atlantic Ocean

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Source: Fungus Guy / Wikimedia Commons

9. Lake sturgeon
> Oldest recorded: 152 years
> Average adult weight: 154 Lbs.
> Habitat: U.S. rivers and lakes

Source: Ltshears / Wikimedia Commons

8. Aldabra tortoise
> Oldest recorded: 152 years
> Average adult weight: 450 Lbs.
> Habitat: Aldabra Island atoll

Source: Post0085_-_Flickr_-_NOAA_Photo_Library.jpg: NOAA Photo Libraryderivative work: Amada44  talk to me, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

7. Shortraker rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 157 years
> Average adult weight: 20 Lbs.
> Habitat: North Pacific Ocean

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Source: Matthew Field / Wikimedia Commons

6. Galapagos tortoise
> Oldest recorded: 177 years
> Average adult weight: 500 Lbs.
> Habitat: Galapagos Islands

Source: 4kodiak / Getty Images

5. Red sea urchin
> Oldest recorded: 200 years
> Average adult weight: 1.0 Lbs.
> Habitat: Pacific Ocean

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Source: NOAA

4. Rougheye rockfish
> Oldest recorded: 205 years
> Average adult weight: 1.1 Lbs.
> Habitat: Pacific Ocean

Source: Courtesy of Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Creative

3. Bowhead whale
> Oldest recorded: 211 years
> Average adult weight: 220,462 Lbs.
> Habitat: Northern Atlantic Ocean

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

2. Greenland shark
> Oldest recorded: 392 years
> Average adult weight: 1,874 Lbs.
> Habitat: Northern Atlantic Ocean

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Source: S. Rae / Wikimedia Commons

1. Ocean quahog clam
> Oldest recorded: 507 years
> Average adult weight: 0.5 Lbs.
> Habitat: Northern Atlantic Ocean

Detailed Findings & Methodology

There doesn’t seem to be one particular type of animal that dominates the list of the longest living animals. There are 11 different classes, including reptiles, mammals, fish, and birds — and size doesn’t appear to be a factor on how long animals live. The largest animal on Earth, the blue whale, can live to be up to 110 years. Similarly, weighing less than an ounce, the blind cave salamanders known as olms can also live as long as 102 years.

It’s important to remember that the age figures on this list are the maximum recorded lifespan, which don’t always come close to reflecting the average lifespan of that species. For instance, the oldest human ever recorded lived to be 122 years old. But the average human lifespan is several decades lower. Similarly, the European Pond Turtle typically lives to be 40 to 60 years old. The oldest European Pond Turtle on record lived to be 120.

There are more creatures that live underwater than terrestrial ones among the longest-living animals. About three-fourths of the 50 species on the list are either fish or mammals like whales that live in the ocean. That’s all the more significant considering that an estimated 80% of Earth’s species live on land, compared with just 15% that live in the ocean, and 5% in freshwater.

Though AnAge is a thoroughly researched and curated database, there’s no way to know exactly which of the oldest living animals were never recorded or found by humans before they died. There could always be an outlier from some common animal species that has lived for more than a century. It’s also possible there are entirely undiscovered species that would also make the list — if we knew of their existence. Scientists haven’t even been able to settle on a solid range of how many species there are on Earth. Some have suggested the total number is somewhere around 8.7 million, whereas other estimates go as high as 1 trillion if you include microbes.

To identify the longest living animals in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed animal aging and longevity data from AnAge, a curated database on animal history, genomes, and longevity records. The longest-living animals were identified by examining their maximum longevity, supplemented by our analysis of specimen, kingdom, and genus. Only organisms from the kingdom Animalia were included. Animals from the phylum Porifera, such as sponges, were also excluded. Only animals considered to have an acceptable data quality or higher by AnAge were included.

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