The duration of human life varies on average from one place to another around the world. In general, it is customary for people to live for shorter periods in poor and developing countries, while the duration of their lives increases with the transition to developed countries. The average human life ranges from only 45 years in the country of Swaziland in southern Africa to 82 years in the European country of Switzerland. There are many animals that outperform human beings in terms of their lifespan. Some organisms are widely known to live for very long periods, and if they are not exposed to danger (such as a predator attack or disease) they may live for hundreds of years. The organisms included in this article may include any creatures classified – scientifically and biologically – within the animal kingdom, as some of them may not look like large animals or vertebrates , but may be from any phylum of the animal phylum.
What are the longest living animals?
The longest known organism in the animal kingdom is a type of oceanic oyster (in Latin: Arctica islandica). This oyster can live for hundreds of consecutive years, and it is considered the longest living animal. The exceptionally long life of this oyster raises several scientific studies, and it is not entirely known how it can live for very long periods, but it is likely that one of the important factors in this is that this oyster consumes a very small amount of oxygen, and spends a very small amount of energy during his life, and his genes may play a key role in his longevity. The reason for this type of oyster obtaining the record for longevity among animals is that in the year 2006 a team of researchers discovered an oceanic oyster near the shores of Iceland . After studying it, it became clear that its age – when caught – was 507 years; This means that when that oyster began its life, man was still living in the year 1499, in the fifteenth century AD, when the Mamluk state was still in existence in the Arab countries, and Columbus had not yet discovered the American continent, and China was under the rule of the Ming Empire, and from Here the conch was called (Ming’s conch) or (Ming’s mollusk) (in English: Ming the Mollusc). The Ming conch died immediately after being caught, but it aroused the great interest of researchers, and several studies were conducted on it. Researchers can determine the age of a marine oyster from the lines that form on its shell, just as the rings in the cores of tree trunks are used to measure its age. The principle on which this method is based is that oysters eat more food in the summer season of each year, when the weather is warm in this season and food becomes abundantly available and in abundant quantities. For this reason, the oyster shell achieves great growth in the summer , but its growth almost stops in the winter, and therefore, the shell takes the form of successive layers piling on top of each other, as it acquires one new layer every year, and with it scientists can simply count the number of these layers to know the age of the oyster.
The ages of other animals
There are many well-known animals that live for very long periods, even if they are not as long as the life span of oysters, the most important of which are:
- Bow-headed whale : Scientists believe that this whale, which lives in the northern oceans of the Earth, has the ability to live for more than two centuries, and it was already discovered (in 2007) a whale of this kind that was about 130 years old, but the local Eskimo hunters killed it to get on their livelihood. Scientists were able to know the age of this whale because, at its death, it kept an iron spear that had been implanted in its neck a very long time ago when some whalers were trying to kill it in the nineteenth century. Investigations showed that the spear came from a factory in New England sometime around the year 1880.
- Koi fish : It is a local type of carp that is widespread in Japan and Asia. It is raised as ornamental fish in industrial ponds. It is known for its ability to live for very long periods of time if it does not die for emergency reasons. One of these fish , named Hanako, set a record when it died in 1977, when its age had exceeded – estimated – 226 years. However, koi fish do not always live for such periods, as their normal lifespan does not exceed fifty years.
- Giant turtles : Within the group of vertebrates (which includes amphibians, birds, lions, and fish), giant turtles are the longest-lived animals on average. One of the most famous species is the giant Galapagos turtle, a type of land turtle that lives on the tropical Galapagos Islands located west of the coast of South America. The record for longevity among these animals belongs to a male turtle named Harriet, who lived in a zoo until his death in 2006, at the age of 175. It is also claimed that one recorded giant tortoise lived to be around 250 years old.