Various claims have been made about reviving bacterial spores to active metabolism after millions of years. There are claims of spores from amber being revived after 40 million years, and spores from salt deposits in New Mexico being revived after 240 million years. These claims have been made by credible researchers, but are not universally accepted.
A seed from the previously extinct Judean date palm was coaxed to sprout after nearly 2,000 years.
As with all long-lived plant and fungal species, no individual part of a clonal colony is alive (in the sense of active metabolism) for more than a very small fraction of the life of the entire clone. Some clonal colonies may be fully connected via their root systems, while most are not actually interconnected, but are genetically identical clones which populated an area through vegetative reproduction. Ages for clonal colonies, often based on current growth rates, are estimates.
Two-hundred and fifty million year-old bacteria, Bacillus permians, were revived from stasis after being found in sodium chloride crystals in a cavern in New Mexico. Russell Vreeland, and colleagues from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, reported on October 18, 2000 that they had revived the halobacteria after bathing it with a nutrient solution. Having survived for 250 million years, it is the oldest living thing ever recorded.
Individual plant specimens
A Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) called Prometheus was measured by ring count at 4,862 years old when it was felled in 1964. This is the greatest verified age for any living organism at the time of its killing. Another Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, known as Methuselah, measured by ring count of sample cores is, at 4,838 years old, the oldest known tree in North America, and the oldest known living individual tree in the world.
Fortingall Yew, an ancient yew (Taxus baccata) in the churchyard of the village of Fortingall in Perthshire, Scotland; possibly the oldest known individual tree in Europe. Various estimates have put its age at between 2000 and 5000 years.
Fitzroya cupressoides is the species with the second oldest verified age, a specimen in Chile being measured by ring count as 3,622 years old.
The Hydrozoan species Turritopsis nutricula 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. However, no single specimen has been observed for any extended period, and it is impossible to estimate the age of a specimen.
The Antarctic sponge Cinachyra antarctica has an extremely slow growth rate in the low temperatures of the Southern Ocean. One specimen has been estimated to be 1,550 years old.
A specimen of the Icelandic Cyprine Arctica islandica (also known as an ocean quahog), a mollusk, was found to have lived 405 years and possibly up to 410. Another specimen had a recorded life span of 374 years.
Some koi fish have reportedly lived more than 200 years, the oldest being Hanako, died at an age of 226 years on July 7, 1977.
Some confirmed sources estimated Bowhead Whales to have lived at least to 211 years of age, making them the oldest mammals.
The tuatara can live well above 100 years. Henry, a tuatara at the Southland Museum in New Zealand, mated for the first time at the age of 110 years in 2009 with an 80-year-old female and fathered 11 baby tuataras.
A female Blue-and-yellow Macaw named Charlie was reportedly hatched in 1899, which would make her 110 years old, as of 2009. Her age has not been independently confirmed and the claim may not be reliable. She is claimed to have formerly belonged to Winston Churchill, but Churchill's daughter denies the claim.
^ O. Rackham, J. Moody, The Making of the Cretan Landscape, 1996, cited in F. R. Riley (2002). Olive Oil Production on Bronze Age Crete: Nutritional properties, Processing methods, and Storage life of Minoan olive oil. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 21 (1): 63–75
^ Sharmishtha, D., Miles, L. L., Barnabei, M.S., Fisher, C. R. 2006. The hydrocarbon seep tubeworm Lamellibrachia luymesi primarily eliminates sulfate and hydrogen ions across its roots to conserve energy and ensure sulfide supply. Journal of Experimental Biology 209:3795-3805 http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/abstract/209/19/3795