How long does animals live.

4 of june- hompage

How long does animals live? This is a hard question to answer, since it depends on which aspect we are talking about. Is it how long most of them live or how long they can live? We also need to compare living in the wild or captivity. Just like humans live to different ages, so does animals. Some individuals can become over 100 years old, while others might not live past their 20’s. Also what type of animals are we talking about? Is it birds, reptiles, fish or mammals? What we will be looking at is the maximum amount of years animals have been recorded to live for different species.

 In general reptiles are long living animals, with a lot of species getting over 100 years old and this can be due to the fact that they are slow growers. Some examples are Giant tortoises that have been recorded to live to 182 years of age in the wild and one in captivity lived to 250 years. Box turtles have been recorded to live to 123 years, Alligators to 68 years and Cobras to 28 years.

 Birds are also long living animals and some parrot species are known to live up to 80 years. The oldest recorded bird in captivity is the Turkey buzzard that lived to 118 years, Swans to 102 years and great Flamingo to 83 years. But the oldest recorded bird in the wild is a Laysan albatross that is at least 63 years of age (2014). She was tagged in 1956 sitting on eggs and by including the age they start breeding scientist estimated her age to be at least 63. Most tags can fall off the animals from wear and tear, but this specific one have been re-tagged before the old tag fell off. She is also one of the oldest known birds that still have chicks and the count is that she has had around 35 chicks hatched in her life.

 There is a lot of fish that have long lifespans. Two good examples are the Rougheye rockfish (Sebastes aleutianus) and the Koi fish (Cyprinus carpio). The rockfish can live to 200 years with the oldest individual living to 205 years. They are extremely slow growers and live between 170-670m below sea level in the Pacific Ocean. The oldest Koi fish lived to 226 years of age and it was determined by counting the rings on her scales just like the age of a tree.

 Mammals, the animals most like us humans can also live as long as we can. Elephants have been recorded to 69 years, horses 50, chimpanzees 40 and bears to 32 years. Most dolphin species can live 40-60 years and whales can live up to 80 years. A Bowhead whale that was found stranded in 2007 with a harpoon head stuck between the neck and shoulder blade was estimated to be 130 years old. That type of harpoon head has not been used since the 1880´s and they rarely hunted calves, so the whale were most likely an adult when shot. After 2007 scientists have been looking at the amino acids in the Bowhead whales eyes and can with that information change the age of this Bowhead whale to 211. They looked at 50 individuals and 5% of them lived over 100 years. Another long lived individual is “granny” an Orca from the coast of California. She is estimated to be 101 years and still going strong. When seen in May 2014 she had just finished an 800 mile travel in 8 days with her family pod. The first photos of her are from the late 1930’s when she was already an adult. Her age has been counted by looking at her offspring´s ages, to see when new children and grandchildren of hers was born and backwards estimations can be done. Normally orcas in the wild live 60-80 years.

 Animals can live longer then us humans, some even longer then we can imagine. There is some scientific evidence that a species of jelly fish (Turritopsis nutricula) are immortal. They live to 50 years and then revers back to their polyp state. In the polyp state they attach to the bottom of the ocean and start to reproduce without finding a partner. All of its offspring will have the same genetic information as the parent and becomes immortal.


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