A fisherman in the Chongqing province of China was fishing in a cave, when he stepped on something “soft and slimy” – and accidentally discovered a 200-year old wild giant salamander, measuring 4.6 feet and weighing 115 pounds. And, surprise, it may be the oldest living animal in the world! Usually, giant salamanders have an average lifespan of 80 years in the wild and up to 52 years in captivity, but if verified this guy breaks all records. Think about it: He was alive when Napoleon was emperor! When Lord Byron was writing poetry! When Andrew Jackson was fighting the Battle of New Orleans! When the first cheese factory was founded in Switzerland! That’s just CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY. .
Unfortunately, he’s in poor health and is currently residing at a local nature preserve where constant care is being provided. Get well, gramps!
Critically endangered due to habitat loss and overhunting, it’s estimated that there are fewer than 50,000 Chinese giant salamanders left in the wild. (via The Laughing Squid)