Longevity - Non-human Biological Longevity

Non-human Biological Longevity

Currently living:

  • Methuselah: 4,800-year-old bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California, the oldest currently living organism known.


  • Possibly 250 million year-old bacteria, bacillus permians, were revived from stasis after being found in sodium chloride crystals in a cavern in New Mexico. Russell Vreeland, and colleagues from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, reported on October 18, 2000 that they had revived the halobacteria after bathing them with a nutrient solution. Having supposedly survived for 250 million years, they would be the oldest living organisms ever recorded. However, their findings have not been universally accepted.
  • A bristlecone pine nicknamed "Prometheus", felled in the Great Basin National Park in Nevada in 1964, found to be about 4,900 years old, is the longest-lived single organism known.
  • The quahog clam (Arctica islandica) is exceptionally long-lived, with a maximum recorded age of 507 years, the longest of any animal. Other clams of the species have been recorded as living up to 374 years.
  • Lamellibrachia luymesi, a deep-sea cold-seep tubeworm, is estimated to reach ages of over 250 years based on a model of its growth rates.
  • Hanako (Koi Fish) was the longest-lived vertebrate ever recorded at 226 years.
  • A Bowhead Whale killed in a hunt was found to be approximately 211 years old (possibly up to 245 years old), the longest lived mammal known.
  • Tu'i Malila, a radiated tortoise presented to the Tongan royal family by Captain Cook, lived for over 185 years. It is the oldest documented reptile. Adwaitya, an Aldabra Giant Tortoise, may have lived for up to 250 years.

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Famous quotes containing the words longevity, non-human and/or biological:

    Every thing teaches transition, transference, metamorphosis: therein is human power, in transference, not in creation; & therein is human destiny, not in longevity but in removal. We dive & reappear in new places.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    Almost like a god looking at her terribly out of the everlasting dark, she had felt the eyes of that horse; great glowing, fearsome eyes, arched with a question, and containing a white blade of light like a threat. What was his non-human question, and his uncanny threat? She didn’t know. He was some splendid demon, and she must worship him.
    —D.H. (David Herbert)

    When human beings have been fascinated by the contemplation of their own hearts, the more intricate biological pattern of the female has become a model for the artist, the mystic, and the saint. When mankind turns instead to what can be done, altered, built, invented, in the outer world, all natural properties of men, animals, or metals become handicaps to be altered rather than clues to be followed.
    Margaret Mead (1901–1978)