All kinds of animals can be our pets. People love their dogs, cats, fish, mice, guinea pigs, frogs…even snakes and tarantulas. Some pets are fluffy and fuzzy, some are smart, some can freak out your friends. But what if you just want a pet that will live a long time? There are some exciting choices. Both the bowhead whale and rougheye rockfish can live 200 years or more. The Greenland shark can live 400 years. But some choices are more slimy than exciting. Tubeworms can live for 250 years, and the winner is the clam — yes, that two-shelled ball of goop from the sea. It can live for 500 years! If you want a pet than can also do tricks, the whale and shark might be a better bet.
Wee ones: How old are you right now? How old will you turn on your next birthday?
Little kids: The 11th longest-living animal is…people! If we’re 11th, how many types of animals have lived longer than we have? Bonus: If you’re 8 years old and your new pet whale is just 4, how much older are you?
Big kids: If a shark can live 400 years and a tubeworm can live 250 years, by how many years can the shark outlive the tubeworm? Bonus: If you have a 10-year-old pet clam right now (in 2020), in what year will it have its big 100th birthday?
The sky’s the limit: If your pet whale is 10 times as old as you, and is 45 years older, how old are you and your whale?
Wee ones: Different for everyone…find out your age in years, then add 1 for your next birthday.
Little kids: 10 types of animals. Bonus: 4 years older.
Big kids: By 150 years, which is even longer than we live! Bonus: 90 years from now, in 2110.
The sky’s the limit: You are 5 and your whale is 50. If your whale is 10 times older, then that means you need to add 9 more of your age to itself to get the whale’s age. Those 9 chunks add up to 45, so one chunk (your age) is 5.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.