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7 Animals That are Almost Immortal Who Defy Death

 7 Animals That are Almost Immortal Who Defy Death

 7 Animals That are Almost Immortal Who Defy Death

Generally we humans always tend to fear death. We want to live as long as possible. Do you think that every creature born on this planet comes along with an expiration date? Well, probably that’s not completely true for some.

Meanwhile, some animals living in our world seem to be kicking death in the ass just by hanging around and doing what they do. These species have managed to stick around the planet for mind-blowing amounts of time ... at least until we killed them and dissected their bodies to find out how they did it. For example ...

Yet there are some animals for whom this does not apply; animals that do not have any measurable decline in survival as they age, nor do they display any reduction in reproductive capability.

Apparently, there are already a number of existing plant and animal species that are seemingly deathless, if not, can live for a very long time when compared to the lifespan of humans.
To put it in other words, these organisms could die as they might get killed by either a predator or a destructive change in the environment, or suffer from a disease. But unlike humans, they rarely die because of old age.

7. Koi Fish

https://images.midilibre.fr/api/v1/images/view/5b28f9398fe56f325146de19/large/image.jpg Koi usually live for 25-30 years but there are reports of koi that have reached ages of over 200 years old! One famous koi in Japan, named “Hanako”, died in 1977 and a study of the growth rings of one of her scales reported that she was 226! This made her older than the United States of America!

In May 25 1966, Dr. Komei Koshihara, the last owner of koi Hanako, made a broadcast to the whole Japanese nation through Nippon Hoso Kyokai radio station about the story of koi Hanako. At this time, Hanako was 215 years old weighing 7.5 kilograms and 70 centimeters long. He explained that the koi was passed down from his grandmother on his maternal side, who had inherited the fish from “olden times.” Dr. Koshihara described Hanako as his dearest friend.

 The individual annual ring on the scale was painstakingly analyzed over a period of two months in Laboratory of Animal Science, Nagoya Women’s College by professor Masayoshi Hiro. Both Dr. Koshihara and Professor Hiro were delightfully surprised when Hanako was discovered to be 215 years old at the time. Following this discovery, the remaining five koi carp in the same pond was examined as well. After a yearlong analysis, the results showed that they were all over 100 years old as well.

6. Giant tortoises



Tortoises like to take it slow — so slow that it takes them forever to die. Carbon dating found that one giant Aldabra tortoise named Adwaita was around 225 years old when he died in 2006. And while not all tortoises are fortuitous enough to have been alive during the Declaration of Independence, something in the reptiles' genetic code appears to make them impervious to Death by Old.

A giant tortoise thought to be one of the world's oldest creatures has died in a Calcutta zoo, ending a life that spanned much of modern Indian history.
Local lore said Addwaita, the Aldabra tortoise whose name means "the one and only" in the local Bengali language, was some 250 years old.
That, however, would have made him much older than the world's oldest documented living animal: Harriet, a 176-year-old Galapagos tortoise who lives at the Australia Zoo north of Brisbane, according to the zoo's Web site. She was taken from the island of Isla Santa Cruz by Charles Darwin in the 19th century.
Calcutta zoo officials, however, insist Addwaita was far older.
"According to records in the zoo, the age of the giant tortoise, Addwaita, who died on Wednesday, would be 250 years approximately," said zoo director Subir Chowdhury.
The zoo wants to carbon date his shell to determine exactly how old he was.
Addwaita arrived in the zoo in 1875. Zoo officials say he was one of four tortoises brought to India by British sailors from the Seychelle islands as a gift for Lord Robert Clive of the East India Company. Clive was instrumental in establishing British colonial rule in India, before he returned to England in 1767.

5. Lobsters Don't Actually Get Older, Just Bigger (And Hornier)





Research suggests that lobsters may not slow down, weaken, or lose fertility with age, and that older lobsters may be more fertile than younger lobsters.

some lobsters can persist and even increase their fertility because of a certain enzyme called telomerase. This enzyme repairs the lost sections of the DNA; hence, “aged” cells are again reverted to being young. Though such process renders them to stay “deathless“, the exact life span of a lobster is difficult to determine because of the regular molting of exoskeleton.

Technically they can’t be categorized as immortal. Let’s just say they can really manage to pull off a lifetime achievement award for defying age for a pretty long time (as long as 140 years old….hold on did you eat that one???).
It’s purely genetics when it comes to longevity of lobster. And the major player here is a small cap called telomere attached at the end of a chromosome that helps keep the DNA intact and preventing fusion with other chromosomes. In context of “defying age in the long run” telomere are known to prevent critical information being cut- off every time a replication of the DNA occurs.
But what’s interesting to know is that every the cell is divided the telomeres get shorter at the end caps which prevents them to provide sufficient buffering in the long run.
But that is not the end of the story because our smart ‘Lobster’ makes use of an enzyme called telomerase that is their ACE card for staying healthy and growing big. This enzyme technically prevents the telomeres from getting too short.


4. Red sea urchin Strongylocentrotus franciscanus



There is great variation in age among sea urchins – some are short-lived, surviving for four years, some live up to 50 years, but some are extremely long-lived. With the ability to regenerate damaged appendages and reproduce throughout their lifespan, some of the largest specimens of Red sea urchins can live to be up to 200-years-old. This was discovered by scientists using tagging studies in the field to monitor individuals, as well as radiocarbon analysis.

A new study has concluded that the red sea urchin, a small spiny invertebrate that lives in shallow coastal waters, is among the longest living animals on Earth - they can live to be 100 years old, and some may reach 200 years or more in good health with few signs of age.
In other words, an individual red sea urchin that hatched on the day in 1805 that Lewis and Clark arrived in Oregon may still be thriving - and even breeding. The research was just published in a professional journal, the U.S. Fishery Bulletin, by scientists from Oregon State University and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It may have important implications for management of a commercial fishery and our understanding of marine biology, as well as challenge some erroneous assumptions about the life cycle of this never-say-die marine species.

3. Glass Sponges Can Live for 15,000 Years



When it comes to standing with head held high at the first spot with the longest life-span, glass sponges swim their way to spot number one.
Scientifically known as Scolymastra joubini belonging to family Rossellidae, this species is commonly known as Hexactinellid sponge or Glass sponge. A cup shaped structure with central cavity; its outer skeletal structure is made of either four or six silica spicules. So far it is estimated to have lived for 15,000 years; they are widely distributed in deep waters where they grow attached on substrates. They themselves often turn substrate for other invertebrates and fishes.
The most famous glass sponges are the “Venus flower basket” that was used as bridal gifts in ancient Japan. They had an inverted crown like structure at the base which often enclosed a pair of shrimps inside, and this gave them the unique name and place in auspicious ceremonies.
No concrete theories on how they manage to live long. Similar to their other sea-counterparts it is presumed that they either boom quickly or go semi-dormant. But what catches the eye is its ability to sequester carbon.
These sponges feed on plankton which uses carbon for its growth. It is cycle of carbon transfer from the plankton to the sponges and finally getting buried beneath the sea-bed when the sponges die.

2. Hydra





There is one animal that could be called immortal. Strictly speaking, no animal is truly immortal as all can be killed by accidents, predator attacks, disease or adverse environmental factors. Yet some animals don’t seem to age at all, and have a stable or decreasing rate of mortality as they grow older. These animals are said to be ‘biologically immortal’. The hydra are one such animal. Tiny, simple freshwater animals, hydras reproduce asexually by growing clones of themselves and can regenerate – if cut apart, each piece develops into a new hydra. Their cells continually divide, but do not undergo senescence. For obvious reasons, they too are becoming a model for research into ageing.

In ancient Greek myth, the Hydra was a multi-headed monster that grew two more heads for every one that it lost. As it turns out, the real-life animal named after this mythical beast may be even more tenacious.
A new study finds that hydra — spindly, freshwater polyps — can live seemingly forever, without aging.
Unlike most multicellular species, hydra don't show any signs of deteriorating with age, according to the new research, published Dec. 7 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Living forever
Hydra are a group of invertebrates that look like tiny tubes with tentacles protruding off one end. They grow only about 0.4 inches (10 millimeters) long and eat even tinier aquatic animals.
Hydra are known for their regenerative capabilities. Most of their body cells are stem cells, Martinez said. These cells are capable of continuous division and differentiation into any cell type in the body. In humans, such "totipotent" cells are present only in the first few days of embryonic development. Hydra, by contrast, constantly renew their bodies with fresh cells.

1. Immortal Jellyfish



The Earth's only immortal species is a tiny transparent jellyfish that travels the world in the ballast tanks of cargo ships. It's the only known animal capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature stage after having reached maturity, as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains.
Down through the ages, there have always been myths about immortality, that godlike ability to live forever. Well, sometimes myths can have a nugget of truth. Indeed, it was our scientists—more specifically, the marine biologists—who found a creature that comes closest to immortality: a tiny transparent jellyfish.
Jellyfish are special in many ways. For starters, they have neither a brain, nor a heart. They have only a single opening through which food comes in, and waste comes out. So jellyfish eat via their anus.

Besides being eternal, they seem to be everywhere. Yes, immortal jellyfish are spreading through the oceans of the world. It seems as though they are getting free rides in ships. When in port, after unloading their cargo, ships suck in water to fill their ballast tanks. Ships do this so that they can ride better at sea. This is how they accidentally pick up some immortal jellyfish. This gives the jellyfish more chances to meet with immortal jellyfish of the other sex.
After an adult male immortal jellyfish squirts his sperm out into the ocean waters, some of them end up inside the female. The egg and sperm join, which then creates the fertilised eggs. After a little while, these then turn into tiny free-swimming larvae called planula. After a little more time, the planula give up swimming, dive down to the sea floor, and attach themselves to a rock.
They then change shape entirely, turning into columns of highly branched polyps.

By sujeet Kumar

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