Animals

8 Of The Oldest Animals To Have Ever Lived

Bored Panda / National Geographic

Like humans, an animal's genetics determine its likelihood of living a long and healthy life.

While most of our furry friends don't live as long as us, plenty of them are there to keep us company for significant amount of time - with some staying around more than others.

However, there are some animals that have lengthy lives that far exceed our expectations.

Want to meet the sweet creatures that have aged with beauty and grace? Take a look at some of the oldest animals to have ever existed.  

1. The Oldest Cat

Although most cats have an average lifespan of 14 to 20 years, Cream Puff lived for a whopping 38 with her owner Jake Perry in Austin, Texas.

In 2007 this adorable feline was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records after Perry's other cat, Grampa - who previously held the title of oldest cat alive - passed away at 30 years old.  

Some cite Perry's unusual diet for his cats for their longevity, which included foods such as bacon, eggs, asparagus, broccoli, and coffee with heavy cream.

2. The Oldest Dog

Back in 2016, Maggie the Kelpie passed away after making her way to ripe old age of 30. Sadly her deterioration only became noticeable two days before her death.  

"She was 30 years old, she was still going along nicely last week, she was walking from the dairy to the office and growling at the cats and all that sort of thing," her owner, Brian McLaren told The Weekly Times.

"I’m sad, but I’m pleased she went the way she went," he added.

While she's assumed to have been the oldest dog in the world, McLaren had lost his pooch's paperwork, making Maggie's age unverifiable.

Before Maggie, Bluey the sheepdog held the prestigious title, as he lived to be 29 years old when he eventually kicked the bucket in the 1930s. These feats are extraordinary as the typical canine lives to be between 10 to 13 years old.

3. The World's Oldest Rabbit

For 17 years, Do the Jersey Wooly rabbit lived nothing short of a loving life.

He was given to Jenna Antol for free in 1996, since he'd been living in the pet store for a while with very few customers showing interest.

"My mother drove me to the local pet shop and there I spotted Do huddled in a corner at the bottom of a bird aviary - I thought he was perfect the moment I spotted him," Antol shared.

"He had the most gentle and heartwarming disposition ever - that to me was his best trait, he loved you back through his eyes and nose bonks," Antol said.

According to Guinness World Records, Antol read up on rabbit care and made sure Do always ate a strictly healthy diet. She loved her pet so much, she even wrote a book about him and his adventures in 2012.

4. The Oldest Lizard

The tuatara lizards (a relative to the dinosaurs) are known to have an incredibly long lifespan, and Henry from New Zealand is no different. After receiving cancer treatment, Henry was 111 years old in 2009 when he became a father for the first time.

Henry had been living at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery since 1970, and until a year prior, his handlers lost hope he'd ever mate at all.

"After 36 years of looking after Henry I was chuffed about the mating, then the eggs hatched and now, after nurturing them for 223 days, we have got the results," gallery curator, Lindsay Hazley told the Southland Times.

5. The Oldest Living Tortoise

At about 250 years old, Adwaita the tortoise had amazingly out-lived any living or dead member of the human race.

Adwaita, who lived in India's Alipore Zoo for more than 125 years, was born sometime in the 1700s, where he was captured in the Seychelles Islands. He was eventually gifted to British general Robert Clive of the East India Company, and was kept as a pet until 1875.

After Adwaita passed away in 2006, his shell was carbon dated to certify his astounding lifespan was legitimate.

6. The Oldest Living Elephant

Since the average lifespan of an elephant is about 50 years old, imagine the shock of his zookeepers when Lin Wang reached the ripe old age of 86.

While Lin Wang was used in battle during the Second World War, he was captured from a Japanese camp in 1943, and was "used to support the Chinese Expeditionary Force for the rest of the war."

In 1952, he was moved to the Taipei Zoo where he spent the rest of his years with his lifelong partner, Malan.

When the beloved elephant passed away in 2003, he was heavily mourned by thousands of people (who dubbed him Grandpa Lin Wang), with celebrations of his life lasting for several weeks.

7. The Oldest Clam

Ming the clam was another creature that seemed to live through the test of time in the North Atlantic Ocean.

While the clam lived to be 507 years old, it could have lived an even longer life had scientists not killed it.

To determine Ming's age, researchers decided to crack open its shell in 2006, which instantly ended its life - which was believed to be one of the oldest creatures to have ever lived.

While it was previously believed Ming was only 405 years old, scientists decided to count the rings on the shell's exterior.

“We got it wrong the first time and maybe we were a bit hastingly publishing our findings back then. But we are absolutely certain that we've got the right age now," Paul Butler, an ocean scientist from Bangor University, told ScienceNordic.

8. The Oldest Chimpanzee

At about 79 years old, Little Mama was believed to be the oldest chimpanzee to ever live in captivity.

Although most chimpanzees usually live between 40 to 50 years old, Little Mama surpassed everyone's expectations at the Lion Country Safari in South Florida.

Before she was brought to the zoo in 1972, Little Mama was part of the Ice Capades, a traveling variety show that performed across the United States, before she ended up in the hands of a pet dealer.

While it's believed Little Mama died of kidney failure, she was surrounded by the zookeepers and her family of eight other chimps.

"She held a special place in the heart of anyone who ever had the privilege to meet her. In all ways, Mama was special. It soothes me to think that she will be with us forever, in our hearts and memories," primate curator Tina Cloutier Barbour said.

Want to read more sweet animal stories? Take a look at these refreshing reads:

[H/T: Reader's Digest, ODDEE]

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