Long-living Organism

Listed below are examples of organisms that exhibit special qualities that are vital in the ongoing research for human longevity and regenerative medicine.

Title Description Wikipedia
Black Coral In March 2009, scientists released the results of their research on deep-sea (depths of ~300 to 3,000 m) corals throughout the world. They discovered specimens of Leiopathes to be among the oldest continuously living organisms on the planet: around 4,265 years old. They show that the "radial growth rates are as low as 4 to 35 micrometers per year and that individual colony longevities are on the order of thousands of years". Link to Wikipedia
Caenorhabditis elegans a free-living, transparent nematode (roundworm), about 1 mm in length, which lives in temperate soil environments. C. elegans has been a model organism for aging research; for instance, inhibition of an insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling pathway has been shown to increase adult lifespan 3-fold. Link to Wikipedia
Hydra A genus of small simple fresh-water animals possessing radial symmetry. Hydra are predatory animals belonging to the phylum Cnidaria and the class Hydrozoa.They can be found in most unpolluted fresh-water ponds, lakes, and streams in the temperate and tropical regions and can be found by gently sweeping a collecting net through weedy areas. They are multicellular organisms which are usually a few millimetres long and are best studied with a microscope. Biologists are especially interested in Hydra due to their regenerative ability; and that they appear not to age or to die of old age. Link to Wikipedia
Judean date palm Prized for its beauty, shade, and medicinal properties, the cultivar was thought to have become extinct sometime around AD 150. However, in 2005, a preserved 2,000-year-old seed sprouted. It was at the time the oldest known human-assisted germination of a seed (surpassed in 2012 by a 32,000-year-old arctic flower). The palm, named Methuselah (not to be confused with a bristlecone pine tree of the same name), was about 1.5 m (5 ft) tall in June 2008. As of November 2011, it is reported at 2.5m height, and transplanted from pot to earth. Link to Wikipedia
King Clone King Clone is thought to be the oldest Creosote bush ring in the Mojave Desert. The ring is estimated to be 11,700 years old. It is considered one of the oldest living organisms on Earth. This single clonal colony plant of Larrea tridentata reaches up to 67 feet (20 m) in diameter, with an average diameter of 45 feet (14 m). Link to Wikipedia
Lobster 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. This longevity may be due to telomerase, an enzyme that repairs DNA sequences of the form "TTAGGG". This sequence, repeated hundreds of times, occurs at the ends of chromosomes and are referred to as telomeres. Link to Wikipedia
Orange roughy The maximum published age of 149 years was determined via radiometric dating of trace isotopes found in an orange roughy's otolith ("ear bone"). Similarly, counting by the growth rings of orange roughy otoliths has given a maximum age of 125 to 156 years. Link to Wikipedia
Pando The Trembling Giant, is a clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) determined to be a single living organism by identical genetic markers and one massive underground root system. The plant is estimated to weigh collectively 6,000,000 kg (6,600 short tons), making it the heaviest known organism. The root system of Pando, at an estimated 80,000 years old, is among the oldest known living organisms. Link to Wikipedia
Planarian Planaria can be cut into pieces, and each piece can regenerate into a complete organism. Cells at the location of the wound site proliferate to form a blastema that will differentiate into new tissues and regenerate the missing parts of the piece of the cut planaria. It's this feature that gave them the famous designation of being "immortal under the edge of a knife." Link to Wikipedia
Posidonia oceanica a seagrass species that is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. It forms large underwater meadows that are an important part of the ecosystem. The flowering plant's common name is Neptune grass. In 2006 a huge clonal colony of P. oceanica was discovered south of the island of Ibiza. At 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) across, and estimated at around 100,000 years old, it may be one of the largest and oldest clonal colonies on Earth. Link to Wikipedia
Red sea urchin Sea urchins are often found living in clumps from five to ten. They have the ability to regenerate lost spines. Lifespan often exceeds 30 years, and scientists have found some specimens to be over 200 years old. Link to Wikipedia
Silene stenophylla Silene stenophylla is a species of flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae. Commonly called narrow-leafed campion, it is a species in the genus Silene. It grows in the Arctic tundra of far eastern Siberia and the mountains of Northern Japan. Frozen samples, estimated via radiocarbon dating to be around 32,000 years old, were discovered in the same area as current living specimens; and in 2012, a team claimed to have successfully regenerated a plant from the samples. Link to Wikipedia
Tardigrade small, water-dwelling, segmented animals with eight legs. They are notable for being one of the most complex of all known polyextremophiles. (An extremophile is an organism that can thrive in a physically or geochemically extreme condition that would be detrimental to most life on Earth. Link to Wikipedia
Turritopsis nutricula the immortal jellyfish, is a hydrozoan whose medusa, or jellyfish, form can revert to the polyp stage after becoming sexually mature. It is the only known case of a metazoan capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary stage. Link to Wikipedia