List of long-living organisms

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This is a list of the oldest individual lifeforms. This is usually defined as:

Biological immortality[edit]

If the mortality rate of a species does not increase after maturity, the species does not age and is said to be biologically immortal. There are many examples of plants and animals for which the mortality rate actually decreases with age, for all or part of the life cycle.[1]

If the mortality rate remains constant, the rate determines the mean lifespan. The lifespan can be long or short, even though the species technically "does not age".

There are stranger examples of species that have been observed to regress to a larval state and regrow into adults multiple times:

Revived into activity after stasis[edit]

Clonal plant colonies[edit]

As with all long-lived plant and fungal species, no individual part of a clonal colony is alive (in the sense of active metabolism) for more than a very small fraction of the life of the entire clone. Some clonal colonies may be fully connected via their root systems, while most are not actually interconnected, but are genetically identical clones which populated an area through vegetative reproduction. Ages for clonal colonies, often based on current growth rates, are estimates.[13]

Individual micro-organisms[edit]

Some endoliths have extremely long lives. In August 2013 researchers reported evidence of endoliths in the ocean floor with a generation time of 10,000 years.[28] These are slowly metabolizing, not in a dormant state.

Individual plant specimens[edit]

Terrestrial animals[edit]

Aquatic animals[edit]

See also[edit]


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