This is a list of the oldest living organisms
. This is usually defined as:
Coaxed into activity after stasis
- Various claims have been made about reviving bacterial spores to active metabolism after millions of years. There are claims of spores from amber being revived after 40 million years, and spores from salt deposits in New Mexico being revived after 240 million years. These claims have been made by credible researchers, but are not universally accepted.
- A seed from the previously extinct Judean date palm was coaxed to sprout after nearly 2,000 years.
- 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.
- A huge colony of the sea grass Posidonia oceanica in the Mediterranean Sea could be up to 100,000 years old.
- Pando (tree). This clonal colony of Populus tremuloides has been estimated at 80,000 years old, although some claims place it as being as old as one million years.
- King's Lomatia in Tasmania: The sole surviving clonal colony of this species is estimated to be at least 43,600 years old.
- A huckleberry bush in Pennsylvania is thought to be as old as 13,000 years of age.
- Eucalyptus recurva: clones in Australia are claimed to be 13,000 years old.
- Creosote bush: a ring of bushes in the Mojave desert are estimated at 11,700 years old.
- An individual of the fungus species Armillaria ostoyae in the Malheur National Forest is thought to be between 2,000 and 8,500 years old. It is thought to be the world's largest organism by area, at 2,384 acres (965 hectares).
Individual plant specimens
- A cluster of Norway Spruce in Sweden includes roots that have been carbon dated to 9,550 years old, which would make them the oldest known trees in the world. Individual trunks only last up to about 600 years, but the roots from which they grow have survived throughout the entire period.
- A Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) called Prometheus was measured by ring count at 4,862 years old when it was felled in 1964. This is the greatest verified age for any living organism at the time of its killing. Another Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, known as Methuselah, measured by ring count of sample cores is, at 4,838 years old, the oldest known tree in North America, and the oldest known individual tree in the world.
- Fortingall Yew, an ancient yew (Taxus baccata) in the churchyard of the village of Fortingall in Perthshire, Scotland; possibly the oldest known individual tree in Europe. Various estimates have put its age at between 2000 and 5000 years.
- Fitzroya cupressoides is the species with the second oldest verified age, a specimen in Chile being measured by ring count as 3,622 years old.
- A Sacred Fig (Ficus religiosa) specimen, the Sri Maha Bodhi, is (if its reported planting date of 288 BC is correct) at 2,293 years old, the oldest known flowering plant.
- A specimen of Lagarostrobos franklinii in Tasmania is thought to be about 2000 years old.
- Numerous Olive trees are purported to be 2000 years old or older. An olive tree in Crete, claiming such longevity, has been confirmed on the basis of tree ring analysis.
- The Hydrozoan species Turritopsis nutricula is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage, and back again, indefinitely. This means there is, theoretically, no limit to its life span, although no single specimen has been observed for any extended period and it is impossible to estimate the age of a specimen.
- The Antarctic sponge Cinachyra antarctica has an extremely slow growth rate in the low temperatures of the Antarctic Ocean. One specimen has been estimated to be 1,550 years old.
- A specimen of the Icelandic Cyprine Arctica islandica (also known as an ocean quahog), a mollusk, was found to have lived 405 years and possibly up to 410.. Another specimen had a recorded lifespan of 374 years.
- Some koi fish have reportedly lived up to over 200 years, the oldest being Hanako, died at an age of 215 years on July 7, 1977.
- Some unconfirmed sources estimated Bowhead Whales to have lived up to 210 years of age. If proven this would make them the oldest mammals.
- Specimens of the Red Sea Urchin, Strongylocentrotus franciscanus, have been found to be over 200 years old.
- Tu'i Malila, a Radiated tortoise died at an age of 188 years in May 1965.
- Harriet, a Galápagos tortoise died at an unconfirmed age of 175 years in June 2006.
- Timothy, a Greek Tortoise, died at an age of 160 years in April 2004.
- Geoduck, a species of saltwater clam native to the Puget Sound, have been known to live over 160 years.
- Jeanne Calment was the oldest human to have verifiable birth records. She was 122 years old at time of death.
- A 109-year old female Blue-and-yellow Macaw named Charlie was hatched in 1899. It was incorrectly claimed that she formerly belonged to Winston Churchill.
- There is anecdotal evidence that the Patagonian toothfish and Sturgeon can live for over 100 years.
- The deep-sea hydrocarbon seep tubeworm Lamellibrachia luymesi (Annelida, Polychaeta) lives for over 170 years.