Monday, 25 April 2011

Oldest Still Living Organisms

Have you ever wondered what are the oldest and yet living organisims on the planet? Well, wonder no more, cause here we give you some of the oldest of them all.

CARIBBEAN: Turritopsis Nutricula (Immortal Jellyfish) is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again. This means that there may be no natural limit to its life span.


SOUTH AFRICA: Underground forest Botanists believe the 13,000-year-old underground forest in Pretoria evolved to survive forest fires. All that is visible are the tips of the branches poking out of the soil. But beneath the ground is a mass of branches and roots.


SIBERIA: Actinobacteria, 500,000 years old, and long predating modern humans. This specimen had been gathered from the permafrost and was being kept in Copenhagen.


CHILE: Llareta Plant.  The extraordinary 3,000-year-old relative of parsley that looks like moss but is a shrub grows in the Atacama desert in the high Andes at an altitude of 15,000ft. Measuring 8-10ft across, it inhabits the surface of smooth, round boulders. It is a dense mass of thousands of tiny branches, each ending in a bud with tiny green leaves, and is so tough you can stand on top of it.


NORTH AMERICA: Box Huckleberry, 13 000 years old low shrub related to the blueberry. It is the second oldest known organism in the world.


CALIFORNIA: Clonal Creosote Bush; 12 000 years old; is a flowering plant with ability to inhibit the growing of other plants around and gain more water.


UTAH: Pando (The Trembling Giant) is a clonal colony all determined to be part of a single living organism and one massive underground root system, although whether it is a single tree is disputed, as it depends on one’s definition of an individual tree. The plant is estimated to weigh collectively 6,000 tonnes (6,615 tons),  making it the heaviest known organism. Also it is claimed by some to be among the oldest known living organisms in existence at 80,000 years of age.


SWEDEN: Gran Picea. This spruce is 9,500 years old. It survives in a landscape dominated by lichen, bare mountains and valleys with dense, ancient forests.


SCOTLAND: Fortingall Yew, 5,000 years old tree. This makes it the oldest known tree in Europe.


NAMIBIA: Welwitschia Mirabilis. The 2,000-year-old welwitschia plant found in the Namib-Naukluft desert is an unlikely-looking conifer that produces only two leaves in its lifetime – the longest in the plant kingdom. Over its long life, these leaves are shredded by sandstorms into a tangled mass of ribbons.


NORTH ATLANTIC: Arctica Islandica. These animals show exceptional longevity and have been estimated to live up to 400 years in the wild.


JAPAN: Jomon Sugi japanese cedar, 7,000 years old tree. It is the oldest and largest cryptomeria tree on the island.


TOBAGO: Brain coral This 18ft-wide brain coral off the shore of Speyside on the east coast of Tobago in the Caribbean is 2,000 years old.



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