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Top 10 Oldest Living Organisms in the World

Saturday, October 8th 2011. | Oldest

Maybe you are wondering what’s the oldest living organism.You could probably nitpick some of these within a million years here, a million years there but the fact remains that these animals have been around a long time. They’ve achieved apparent perfection in their environment. Below is list about oldest living organism in the world.

10. Martialis Heureka – 120 Million Years

Oldest Living Organism Martialis Heureka

Martialis Heureka

Only discovered in 2000 in the Amazon, this species of ant is known as the Ant From Mars. Resembling a miniature wasp, the insect is like no other ant, and is the oldest species of ant still inhabiting the earth. What makes it completely awesome is that its genetic code suggests it was among the first sub-families to split off from the main lineage, soon after ants evolved from wasps more than 120 million years ago.


9. Sturgeon – 200 Million Years

Oldest Living Organism Sturgeon


Sturgeon and related paddlefish have undergone remarkably little morphological change, indicating that their evolution has been slow and earning them informal status as living fossils. This is explained in part by the long inter-generation time, tolerance for wide ranges of temperature and salinity, lack of predators due to size, and the abundance of prey items in the benthic environment.


8. Horseshoe Shrimp – 200 Million Years

Oldest Living Organism Horseshoe Shrimp

Horseshoe Shrimp

This little guy has the distinction of being the oldest living species on earth UNCHANGED for 200 Million years. In other words, he may not have been around as long as some of the guys above him, but he’s is virtually indistinguishable from his 200 million year old fossil.


7. Gingko Biloba – 270 Million Years

Oldest Living Organism gingko biloba

gingko biloba

The Ginkgo tree is the only living representative of the order Ginkgoales, a group of gymnosperms dating back to 270 million years ago in the Permian period. Due to geological cataclysms only 3 or 4 species were left in the Tertiary (65 million years ago). The extinction of the dinosaurs as potential seed dispersers of the large seeds may also have influenced this decline, which is in line with the fossil records.


6. Coelacanth – 360 Million Years

Oldest living organism Coelacanth


Before 1938 Coelacanths were believed to have become extinct approximately 80 million years ago, when they disappeared from the fossil record. These prehisotric “living fossils” were once thought to be the ancestors of the tetrapods (land-living animals, including humans). It is now believed that Lungfishes are the closest living relative of tetrapods.


5. Horseshoe Crab – 445 Million Years

Oldest living organism Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe Crab

The ole Horsehoe has remained pretty much unchanged since the Ordovician period. So, it’s existed on Earth for about 74% of the time that animals in general have. The earliest horseshoe crab species were crawling around the Earth’s shallow coastal seas for at least 100 million years before the dinosaurs even arrived.


4. Sponge – 580 Million Years

Oldest living organism Sponge


Sponges are from an ancient animal group whose lineage can be traced back to the beginnings of animal life. Fossils of glass sponges have been found from around 540 million years ago in rocks in Australia, China and Mongolia. Although about 90% of modern sponges are demosponges, fossilized remains of this type are less common than those of other types because their skeletons are composed of relatively soft spongin that does not fossilize well.


3. Jellyfish – 505 Million Years

Oldest living organism Jellyfish


Jellyfish belong to the group of animals called Cnidaria or Coelenterata. This group includes corals, hydras, jellyfish, Portuguese men-of-war, sea anemones, sea pens, sea whips, and sea fans. They are hard to fossilize, being made of mostly water, but a few years ago some new fossils were found that make them even older than previously thought.


2. Nautilus – 500 million years

oldest living organism Nautilus


The “living fossil”. The nautilus is the only shelled cephalopod. Long ago they were more varied and far more prosperous, but today there are only six species of nautilus, all limited to the Indo-Pacific. Still, way to hang in there, pal.


1. Cyanobacteria – 2.8 billion years

oldest living organism Cyanobacteria


Cyanobacteria are considered to be among the first life forms on Earth. The first ones lived on sulfates and methane that was abundant in Earth’s early atmosphere. Today’s cyanobacteria are practically identical to the originals. This oldest living organism have survived every major extinction event including the Permian extinction that killed 90 percent of the species at that time.

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