40 Animal Species that Outlive the Rest

By Joe Burgett
40 Animal Species that Outlive the Rest

While we all love the average pet in our household, there is a good shot that they will die years before you do. It is common for animals to die before us. However, there are a number of exceptions to the rule. In fact, some of the longest living animal species on the planet can live decades longer than a human can.

The oldest human being recorded in biblical history, Methuselah, was 969 when he finally passed away. The Bible, as well as the Torah and Qur’an, are filled with stories about people living hundreds of years. However, there are very few first-century historians, and those we do have never seemed to mention most religious figures.

Therefore, we do not go off of these people for maximum human lifespan possibilities. Instead, we go off of the actual data from recorded knowledge. Thus, the oldest human ever was much younger than those from religious texts. The oldest human ever recorded is a French woman named Jeanne Calment. She lived from 1875 to 1997 and managed to age to 122 years, 164 days.

To be honest, there are countless examples of animals that have lived longer than this. We’ll be going over a lot of examples of this below. A few things to keep in mind. This list will strictly be involving those that can be considered an actual animal and not a plant-like being. If it has a cell wall, vacuoles, and chloroplasts, then it’s a plant. If it does not give off carbon dioxide but absorbs it, then it’s a plant. All other beings are considered animals according to science.

Oh, and we are not including humans for obvious reasons.


[Image via Brian Keating]

40. Elephants

  • Average Lifespan: 50 to 70 Years

There are two main types of elephants found on the planet today, but both are among the longest-living animal species on Planet Earth. That is the classic African Elephant and the other is the Asian Elephant. Both have different lifespans technically. African Elephants usually live up to their 50s while the Asian Elephant can live significantly longer at up to 70 years of age.

Some exceptions can be seen with African Elephants living longer. However, the biggest exception to the normal lifespan is an elephant by the name of Lin Wang. He was born in 1917 and died in 2003. This allowed him to become the oldest elephant in history at the age of 86 upon his death. Very few elephants have even barely passed the 70-year mark, so this is considered to be one of the most amazing animal lifespans ever.