Julian Omidi is an advocate for animal welfare, the global fight against poverty and several other causes. In the following post, he takes a closer look at some of the world’s oldest animals.
I recently heard a friend bragging about his dog. The animal had reached its twentieth birthday, a rarity in the canine world. While 20 might be a huge milestone for a dog or cat, that age would be considered extremely young for a sea sponge. No, sea sponges are neither as cuddly nor as trainable as puppies, but they live to be nearly 1,500 years old!
National Geographic recently highlighted several of the world’s oldest animals. Most live under the water or fly through the air, with only one member of the “oldest animals club” being a land-dweller.
Birds and sea creatures dominate the list
Only one creature on National Geographic’s six oldest animals list walks on the land during most of its life. Meet Thomas the tortoise. Actually, you can’t meet him anymore because he passed away last year at his home in the U.K. at the ripe old age of 130 years. Tom was outdone by a couple other famous tortoises, namely Tu’i Malila of Tonga, who reached the age of 188, and Harriet of Australia, who passed away in 2006 at age 176.
Ming, a deep-sea clam that was accidentally killed by researchers in 2006, had reached the age of 507. Bow head whales typically live to 200 years, with one documented to be 130 when it was caught by Eskimos in 2007.
While Koi fish usually live to the age of 50, one found in Asia in the 1970s was 226 years old. Because the fish have annual “rings” that can be counted, scientists were pretty sure of the oldster’s exact age.
What’s the secret to living a long life?
Cranes and flamingos often live into their 80s. In fact, an albatross named Wisdom became a proud mother for the 35th time in 2012 when she laid an egg at the age of 62. Wisdom is still alive, and probably can’t wait to get her youngest off to kindergarten so she can finally enjoy some “me” time.
Scientists aren’t sure why some species live so long, but whales offer a clue. They have extremely slow metabolisms and have a ready supply of food throughout their lives. So, maybe the lesson for us is to slow down and eat right. Why not learn from the whales and see if we can live to be 200 years old.
Be good to each other,
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In today’s blog, Julian Omidi discusses the political strife that has plagued Nigeria and the current state of the country as it prepares for the upcoming presidential election.
Nigeria’s National Council of State (NCS) met yesterday with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for hours to deliberate and consult the measures that need to be taken to ensure the safety of people intending to vote in the Nigerian presidential election Feb. 14.
It is rather ironic that such an important event should be held on Valentine’s Day, the national holiday that celebrates love.
As Nigeria, the African country with the biggest economy, prepares for the most important election since the restoration of civilian rule in 1999, and maybe since the civil war four decades ago, we should all do our best to raise awareness and show support to a country fraught with so much political strife. Goodluck Jonathan, the incumbent, and the opposition leader, Muhammadu Buhari, are both competing to solve a litany of problem’s Nigeria faces.
Jonathan has run the country since 2010 and has faced much deserved political scrutiny. 18,000 people have died due to political violence in recent years. Many people were forced to abandon their homes. While he offered condolences to France after the attack on Charlie Hedbo, Jonathan has not been as quick to offer his apologies to his own country, particularly after a recent attack that some estimate killed thousands of his countrymen.
Unfortunately for Nigeria, the opposing candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, is a former military dictator, who three decades ago, came to power in a coup and expelled 700,000 migrants in hopes that might create jobs for Nigerians. He has been known for banning political meetings and the right to free speech.
Though Nigeria’s economy is strong, the number of Nigerians who are impoverished keeps increasing. Nigerians continue to die while not much action is taken. In a country where power has changed often through violence, we all need to do our part to spread awareness about the election that is coming up in Nigeria and engage in discussions to help all its citizens with their right to speak their minds and vote in a safe environment. The same values we as American’s treasure – democracy and the right to free speech, for example – should be available to all our friends worldwide. Let us not turn the other way on this important issue and instead do our part to draw attention to those fighting for basic civil rights and peace for their compatriots.
Early indications show most Nigerians support Muhammadu Buhari. We should all hope that the forthcoming election is conducted in a civil manner and that all are given the right to perform their basic civic duty in trying to make changes in the way their country is run.
Be good to each other,