Wisdom the albatross, regarded as the world's oldest living bird, has recently laid yet another egg at the age of 68.
While having pets is obviously an extremely happy and fulfilling part of many of our lives, there is an extremely sad inevitability that comes along with it. That most of the time, we will outlive our pets. Yes, birds and reptiles can live for many, many years, but common pets such as dogs and cats rarely live longer than 15 or 16 years old, if we're lucky.
When it comes to the lifespan of different animals, we are still learning new things today. That has recently been demonstrated by Wisdom, an albatross currently living on the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific Ocean. Despite the life expectancy of an albatross only being around 42 years, Wisdom is thought to be an impressive 68 years old.
That already impressive stat is about to become even more surprising, thanks to a report from Sky News. Towards the end of 2018, it was discovered that Wisdom had laid an egg. Unthinkable for any animal that has been on the planet as long as she has, yet here we are. While the exact number of young she has reared in her long life is unknown, this most recent egg is estimated to be as high as the 35th one she has laid during her time on Earth.
Much like penguins, albatross is a species of bird that mates for life. As adorable as that is to see in the animal kingdom, it sadly means Wisdom has outlived whoever her original partner was. However, if a partner passes away, albatross are free to pair up with somebody else. Wisdom's current partner, Akeakamai has been with her since 2006, but his age is unknown.
The reason researchers and biologists know Wisdom's impressive age is because she was ringed all the way back in 1956, long before Midway Island was a nature reserve. The aging albatross was not seen again for 46 years in 2002, and biologists knew who she was and her age due to her being ringed long before. Not only is her ongoing life remarkable, but it has forced scientists to reevaluate the life expectancy of the albatross.