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  • Writer's pictureAdam Rendell

Fact of the day 'oldest organism' (#4)

What Is The Oldest Living Individual Organism On Earth?

Interestingly, biologist may class an individual being as ‘clonal’ or ‘non clonal’ organism. Clonal organisms, such as mushrooms or certain trees can reproduce themselves with the exact same genes; this means, they are cloning themselves. Roots of an Aspen trees can live up to 80 millennia or 80000 years!

However, other organisms ‘non clonal’ (an organism not cloned by itself) are more limited in relation to time. A species of pine tree (Pinus longaeva) can live just over 5 millennia, the eldest recorded 5065 earth years. Which makes human’s average life expectancy (in the richest countries) look very primitive at the age of 80 years.

And then there are dormant bacteria, which outperform any living organism linked to age and/or time resilience. Bacteria can survive millions of years if conditions allow. Recently, bacteria were found in a bee’s gut dating back 25 million years. The bee was trapped and preserved in amber which allowed the bacteria to be literally ‘frozen’ in time.


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