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6 Animals With Longer Lifespans Than Humans: What Can Scientists Learn From These Creatures?

A new study from researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine has revealed that the maximum human lifespan may have been reached. Humans’ average life expectancy has risen almost continuously since the 1800s, but, according to the Einstein researchers, humans likely won't be able to age any higher than those who have lived into their early 100s

After reviewing the data, researchers calculated the average maximum life span is 115 years, howeever the absolute limit is 125 years old. Whil survival peaked at around 100, a person's functionality diminishes "rapidly" afterwards. 

"Further progress against infectious and chronic diseases may continue boosting average life expectancy, but not maximum lifespan," said senior study author Jan Vijg, Ph.D., according to a news release. "While it's conceivable that therapeutic breakthroughs might extend human longevity beyond the limits we've calculated, such advances would need to overwhelm the many genetic variants that appear to collectively determine the human lifespan. Perhaps resources now being spent to increase lifespan should instead go to lengthening healthspan — the duration of old age spent in good health."

giant tortoise The Aldabra tortoise lives longer than 150 years on average. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Humans may have reached their peak lifespans, but a few other creatures are known to live well beyond humans — here are six enjoying good, long lives: 

RED SEA URCHIN

Strongylocentrotus franciscanus, commonly called Red Sea Urchin, is usually found in the cold waters along the west coast of North America. The largest of these creatures ever reported are from British Columbia, Canada, and estimated to be around 200 years old, according to research from Thomas A. Ebert at the Department of Zoology at Oregon State University.

GIANT TORTOISES

The Aldabra tortoise lives past 150 years on average. Adwaita, a tortoise that once belonged to British colonial general Clive of India in the 18th Century, died in a zoo in 2006. Records showed Adwaita was close to 250 years old, according to the BBC.

OCEAN QUAHOG CLAM

These large clams are found in the North Atlantic and are some of the longest-living ocean dwellers. In 2006, a harvested ocean quahog clam (named Ming) was dated at 507 years old, National Geographic reported.

BOWHEAD WHALE

This creature is giant; second only in size to the blue whale. Evidence shows that a bowhead whale can live as long as 200 years and is possibly the oldest mammal on Earth.

“It’s pretty astounding that whales swimming around out there now could have been swimming around during the Battle of Gettysburg when Lincoln was president,” Steven Webster, senior marine biologist and a co-founder of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, told ABC News.

KOI FISH

The world's oldest koi carp — named Hanako — died in 1977 at the age of 226 years, The Guardian reported.

TURRITOPSIS DOHRNII JELLYFISH

A species of tiny jellyfish, called turritopsis dohrnii, are technically capable of living forever. How is this possible? When the creature experiences starvation, physical damage, or other crises, "instead of sure death, [Turritopsis] transforms all of its existing cells into a younger state," Maria Pia Miglietta, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University, told National Geographic.

Source: Vijg J, Dong X, Milholland B. Evidence For A Limit To Human Lifespan. Nature. 2016.

Read more:

Lifespan Of Mutant Worms Increased To 500 Human Years: What Does This Mean For Aging Therapies?

The Evolutionary Reason Humans Die Despite The Inclination To Survive

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