Romania celebrate long-lasting animals


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05 December 2023
Romfilatelia have issued a four-stamp set highlighting four champions of longevity, with three of the creatures featured varying in age between 200 and 400 years, while the fourth is considered potentially immortal!

Animals can survive for hundreds of years, with the longest-lived species in the oceans sometimes reaching thousands of years in age.

The Greenland or bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) (2l.30) belongs to a suborder of baleen whales endemic to the Arctic and subarctic waters. It takes its bowhead name from its massive triangular skill, which it uses to break through the Arctic ice. Some individuals are estimated to be over 200 years old.

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Similar in size to their famous Galapagos tortoise relatives, the Seychelles giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea) (3l.50) lives in the Seychelles islands off the east coast of Africa. Its impressive longevity of up to 200 years make it one of the longest-lived species on Earth.

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Found in standing water in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, the green or freshwater hydra (Hydra viridissima) (9l) is a small freshwater organism about 10mm long that is related to jellyfish and corals. The hydra shows no signs of ageing, and this has led scientists to consider it potentially ‘biologically immortal’.

With a relatively small head compared to its massive body, the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) (14l) lives in the cold waters of the North Atlantic, particularly around Greenland. The Greenland shark is considered one of the longest-lived shark species and, in fact, the longest-lived vertebrate species. Individuals as old as 200–400 years have been identified in recent studies.

Issue date 3 November;