Although most of the oldest animal in the world only survive for a few million years before becoming extinct, there are always outliers known as living fossils. The existence of some of these species dates back hundreds of millions of years! Find out about some of the oldest animal in the world still surviving today.
The 550 Million Years Old Dendrogramma
Dendogramma is a peculiar aquatic creature just one inch tall and shaped like a mushroom.
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Animals called dendrograms resemble tiny mushrooms and have a simple gastrovascular system. Both a neurological system and sex organs are absent in them.
Around 550 million years ago, it developed into an almost similar shape to what they are now. They were found in 2014, and many marine researchers are fascinated by them.
The 500 Million Years Old Jellyfish
More than 4,000 different species of jellyfish have been identified, many of which have been around for 500 million years.
Other invertebrates have existed for at least 500 million years. There are already more than 4,000 species of these organisms in the oceans across the world.
These are not fish, despite the word “fish” appearing in their name. Like virtually all fish, and don’t have gills, scales, fins, or backbones. Sometimes congregate in enormous clusters known as blooms.
The 445 Million Years Old Horseshoe Crab
Horseshoe crabs are not indeed crabs despite their name.
Horseshoe crabs have existed for 445 million years, almost unaltered. They are more closely related to spiders and scorpions than to crabs, which they are not. Despite having ten eyes, these creatures nonetheless have poor vision.
In the past, sure Southeast Asians consumed crabs often.
Over the last several decades, their appeal in cuisine has declined. The fact that these creatures are utilized as bait has significantly decreased their population in specific locations.
The 410 Million Years Old Coelacanth
The coelacanth is a little-known fish that has existed for 410 million years and dwells at depths of around 2,300.
Fish with lobed bodies, known as coelacanths, have existed for around 410 million years. They are deepwater fish that live 2,300 feet below the surface of the ocean. One of the oldest instances of a fish with a jaw is this one.
They have tiny brains occupying only 1.5% of their cranial cavity, with fat occupying the remaining 95%. After believing this species had gone extinct millions of years before, it recovered in 1938.
The 400 Million Years Old Elephant Nose Fish
These fishes reside close to the ocean floor. They descend far into the water and may survive between 600 and 5,000 feet below the surface.
Elephant nose fish, or the Australian ghost shark, has been around for over 400 million years. Although they share a cartilaginous structure with sharks and are closely related to them, they are not sharks. They are lonely creatures that spend their days searching the ocean bottom for tiny food, including shrimp, mollusks, and other shellfish.
A 340 Million Years Old Sea Lamprey
Vertebrate animals like lampreys have existed for at least 340 million years. They lack a jaw and have a mouth full of teeth instead. Although they resemble eels, they are unrelated.
Although they move through rivers and lakes to mate, sea lamprey spends most of their lives in the ocean. They attach to fish to ingest the blood. Typical targets include lake sturgeon, salmon, lake trout, northern pike, and walleye.
The Emperor Scorpion Is Among The World’s Most Enormous And Is 300 Million Years Old
The Emperor scorpion is among the most significant in the world, growing to about eight inches in length. They have been around for 300 million years and are also living fossils.
They are native to west Africa and are often found in rainforests. However, they may also be found in savannahs. They are a popular option in the exotic pet trade because of their mild venom and lack of aggression.
Tuatara: 250 Million Years Old And Having An Entirely Different Evolutionary History From Lizards
The tuatara is another extinct species that are still living today. It is a reptile native to New Zealand that first appeared around 250 million years ago. They occupy a transitional space between modern lizard characteristics and those of dinosaurs. They are neither a lizard nor a dinosaur and have distinct ancestry.
Because they provide information on the evolution of lizards and snakes, scientists are interested in them. They are the planet’s last of their type. They have a lengthy lifespan and often pass away around age 60.
215 Million Years Old Alligator Gar
Alligator gar are powerful ambush predators that have existed for 215 million years and got their name because of how similar they look to alligators.
One of the biggest fish in North America, alligator gars, has been around for around 215 million years. They may reach 10 feet in length and can weigh 300 pounds. They ambush prey from underneath, grabbing it with their enormous jaws. Although they like fish like carp, they will consume small animals, birds, and turtles if available.
200 Million Years Old Gharial
Gharials swallow their prey whole rather than chewing it despite having numerous sharp teeth.
Since 200 million years ago, gharials have lived in the slow, muddy rivers of the Indian subcontinent. Tiny northern India and Nepal are included in the drastically restricted range. They risk becoming extinct since probably less than 100 survive in the wild.
They only come to the beach to nest and sunbathe since they spend most of their time in the water. They are unable to control their body temperatures. Thus, they must sunbathe or cool down in the water, depending on the weather.
Even though they cannot eat, these reptiles have over 100 sharp teeth. They clamp down on food with their formidable teeth before devouring it whole.
170 Million Years Old Chinese Giant Salamander
The enormous salamander in the world, the Chinese giant salamander, may grow to a length of six feet.
It is the world’s most enormous salamander and has existed for around 170 million years. They are close to six feet long and weigh over 100 pounds.
They might end up losing their dispersed ranges. Swift streams and crystal-clear lakes are the main habitats of these salamanders.
The 100 Million Year Old Sturgeon Fish
Sturgeons come in various species, most of which have existed for 100 million years or more.
The sturgeon fish has been around for 100 million years and may be in fresh and saltwater. The Northern Hemisphere’s temperate zones are home to more than 25 distinct kinds.
It is used to produce some of the greatest caviar in the world, but doing so has placed certain species in danger of extinction. Even though they have few predators due to their size, lampreys utilize them as their blood-feeding supply. Most giant sturgeons weigh well over a thousand pounds.
Conclusion of Oldest Animal In The World
In conclusion, there are a variety of unique creatures that stand out from the crowd due to their extraordinary lifespan and tenacity. These species, which include the bowhead whale, the Greenland shark, the koi fish, and Li Jinquan’s pet tortoise, have deservedly earned their position among the world’s oldest animals.
They inspire and remind us of the remarkable things that living things can do with a bit of luck and care. These extraordinary creatures continue to captivate and astound us with their impressive lifespans, whether in the wild or captivity.