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What is the Longest Lived Animal?

A new study has concluded that the red sea urchin, a small spiny invertebrate that lives in shallow coastal waters, is among the longest living animals on Earth--they can live to be 100 years old, and some may reach 200 years or more in good health with few signs of age. No animal lives forever, but red sea urchins appear to be practically immortal. They can die from attacks by predators, specific diseases or being harvested by fishermen. But even then they show very few signs of age. This small marine animal, which is found in shallow Pacific Ocean coastal waters from Alaska to Baja California and also elsewhere in the world's oceans, lives by grazing quietly on marine plants and deterring most predators with its pointy spines. Historically, it had been considered a nuisance.

Science Daily November 6, 2003

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