6 of the World’s Longest-Lived Animals by Jennifer S. Holland


Posted by Jennifer S. Holland in Weird & Wild

Greater, the 83-year-old flamingo that lived at Australia’s Adelaide Zoo. Photograph by Nicole Miller/Adelaide Zoo/EPA

Greater, the 83-year-old flamingo that lived at Australia’s Adelaide Zoo. Photograph by Nicole Miller/Adelaide Zoo/EPA

The world’s oldest flamingo flew to that great big aviary in the sky last week. Greater, as it was known, was the most famous flamingo in Australia’s Adelaide Zoo when it was put to sleep at age 83.

The bird was suffering from severe arthritis and was nearly blind; zookeepers decided that putting Greater down was the most humane thing they could do.

Most of us are impressed when our pets live merely into the low double digits. But there are creatures out there that put in some serious time on Earth, especially compared with us humans. Some sea sponges last more than 1,500 years. (See also “How Old Is That Lion? A Guide to Aging Animals.”)

Herewith, six of the most famously long-lived individual animals:

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