The top 10 oldest living animal species on earth are those species that are not extinct. They might have changed their physical structure and behavior over time in terms of size, like the crocodile they are now just smaller in size from millions of years ago. These animals can thus be called Living fossils.
A living fossil is an organism that has retained the same form over millions of years, has few or no living relatives, and represents a sole surviving lineage from an era long past. Also, nearly all of these species on the list are known as “living fossils” because they have not evolved too far from their original forms.
These animals have survived several mass extinctions, and many scientists consider them to be a rare glimpse into how life on Earth was long ago.
Most of the Earth’s history has been uncovered through research because of the fossil record. Because of this record research, scientists have been able to piece together the evolutionary tree as well as the evolution of the Earth itself. All of the species on this list have ancestors whose fossils date back hundreds of million years ago.
Here are the top 10 oldest living animal species on earth.
Platypus one of the most venomous mammals in the world. Fossils of platypus-like mammals date as far back as 100 to 146 million years ago, making them extremely valuable for studying mammalian evolution.
9. Protoanguilla Palau
Protoanguilla Palau is a new species of small, eel-like fish discovered from a fringing-reef cave in the western Pacific Ocean in the Republic of Palau. It’s so unlike other eel-like critters that it forced biologists to create a whole new family to describe it: Protoanguillidae. Research and tests based on numerous osteological characters and whole mitogenome sequences suggest that P. Palau is sister to all other living Anguilliformes, the true eels. If this relationship is correct then the split between these lineages dates approximately to the early, 200 millions years ago.
These dangerous predators have exhibited the same body form since dinosaurs. Crocodiles are also the closest living relatives of birds, representing a long-diverse connection between birds and reptiles. A common ancestor of both species existed over 240 million years ago.
7 . Cockroach
These insects can survive for weeks without their heads and even withstand the fallout following a nuclear blast. Cockroaches are also an especially long-surviving animal. Roaches have thrived on Earth for some 320 million years.
They are the only living animals that have a skull but not a vertebral column. From an evolutionary point of view, they can be recognized from fossils that date back to 330 million years ago.