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The longest living animals on Earth

The longest-living animals are equipped with traits to hold off, and sometimes even stop or reverse, the aging process. While humans may have an “absolute limit” of 150 years, this is just a blink of an eye compared with the centuries and millennia that some animals live through.

The true age champions live in water, often at great depths where conditions are stable and consistent. Scientists can’t record the birth and death of every member of a species, so they typically estimate maximum life spans based on what is known about a species’ biology. From old to oldest, here are 12 of the longest-living animals in the world today.

12. Seychelles giant tortoise: 190+ years old

A 2017 photo of Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise thought to be the oldest reptile living on Earth. Jonathan lives on Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. (Image credit: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP via Getty Images)

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Tortoises are famed for their longevity. The oldest living land animal is a 190-year-old Seychelles giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa) named Jonathan. The tortoise lives on the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean after having been brought there by people from the Seychelles in 1882. Jonathan’s age is an estimate, but a photograph of him taken between 1882 and 1886 shows he was fully mature — at least 50 years old — in the late 19th century, Live Science previously reported.    

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