Ancient Greenland Shark Dated to 512: Here Are the World's Other Oldest Creatures

Reports from 2016 of a 512-year-old shark living off the coast of Greenland have resurfaced, fascinating the world with the fact that a fish could live for many human generations.

But although this incredible shark has earned the title of "longest-lived animal," this particular animal isn't the only one to surprise us by not dying for a really long time. Scientists have discovered several other animals that have lived long past their expected lifespans. Here are just a few:

Ming the Mollusk

Ming was named for the Chinese dynasty during which it was born. Ming was one of 200 quahog clams scientists pulled up from the ocean near Iceland, and in 2013, they discovered that Ming was 507 years old. The researchers who found Ming were investigating whether clams that live for a very long time might have something to tell us about climate change.

That research also ended up killing Ming. Physical geographer James Scourse, a member of the team and now at University of Exeter, told the BBC that the researchers were receiving emails accusing them of being clam murderers. In response he explained the potential importance of the research, and also pointed out that Ming belonged to the same species of clam that people kill and eat every day in New England clam chowder.

Wisdom the Albatross

Wisdom is a Laysan albatross, a large sea bird, and, being at least 66 years old, the oldest-known wild bird in the world. She's one of the albatrosses that conservationists have marked with a leg band for research purposes, so they know her when they see her, still kicking. Wisdom lives at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, in Hawaii.

Earlier this year, Wisdom hatched and raised a chick, just as she did in 2016. "Common sense says at some point she would become too old for this," Bruce G. Peterjohn, chief of the Bird Banding Laboratory at the U.S. Geological Services Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland, told The Washington Post last year. So far, the evidence is to the contrary.

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Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, is at least 66 years old and still laying eggs and raising hatchlings. Kristina McOmber/Kupu Conservation Leadership Program & USFW/Handout via Reuters

Adwaita the Tortoise
Adwaita was an Aldabra giant tortoise that lived at least 150 years, and possibly 250 years, before he died in 2006. According to the BBC, a British colonel general Robert Clive, of the East India Company, owned Adwaita during the 18th century. Eventually the tortoise was brought to Alipore Zoo, where he lived for about 130 years before he died from a wound sustained after his shell cracked.

Aldabra tortoises are found in the Aldabra atoll, part of the Seychelles. These giant tortoises often live for more than 100 years and are believed to be among the world's oldest creatures, on average. They are also quite large, with males often weighing more than 500 pounds.

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Two Aldabra giant tortoises mate at the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam in August 2011. Michael Kooren/Reuters

Henry the Lizard
Tuataras are a type of lizard that can live exceptionally long. One tuatara named Henry even became a dad at 111. That age of fatherhood is even more striking because Henry had recently undergone surgery for a tumor on his genitals.

Henry lives at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery in New Zealand with more than 100 other tuataras. The tuatara has become extinct on New Zealand's North and South Island and now survives in the wild on 35 islands in Cook Strait.

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A Tuatara lizard named Tane at Zealandia wildlife park in 2017. Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

Greater the Flamingo
A flamingo named Greater, also known as Flamingo One, at the Adelaide Zoo in Australia, died in 2014 at 83 years old. Greater arrived at the Adelaide Zoo in 1933 from either Cairo or the Hamburg Zoo, according to The Australian. In 2008, a group of teenagers attacked Greater, but the bird (which was never identified to be a male or female), survived. A Chilean flamingo named Chilly eventually became a companion to Greater. There is no word on how Chilly fared after Greater's death.

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A greater flamingo, but not Greater the flamingo, at Kowloon Park in Hong Kong, in August 2010. Daniel Sorabji/AFP/Getty Images

If you want to find really ancient organisms, you can move past animalia and into the kingdoms of plants and fungi. Pando is technically one tree that appears as a forest of clones, and is one of the world's biggest and oldest living organisms. At over 80,000 years old, it gives the Greenland shark a run for its money.

Ancient Greenland Shark Dated to 512: Here Are the World's Other Oldest Creatures | Tech & Science