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The Oldest Turtle Survived Two World Wars

Every living creature has a lifespan. Although it might not be as accurate, we live within or slightly beyond the given figures. Lifespan varies from one creature to another.

Some creatures live longer while others have a short period of existence. Mayflies, for instance, are known to be the shortest living animals on earth with a lifespan of only 24 hours. These flies complete their life process within one day of birth.

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The tortoise family is among the listed animals with the ability to live for ages. As of 2018, the oldest living animal on land (tortoise) was 186 years. Apart from the turtle family, another sea creature that set a record for being the oldest is a marine mollusc. The creature was discovered and collected in cold water in the Iceland region.

Bangor University scientists established that the creature was 507 years. Unfortunately, he died during the process of determining the age. Although there is an estimated lifespan, the concept of life and death remains unpredictable. Just like human beings, creatures can die any time before or after their predicted span.

It is difficult to know the exact age of animals. Their ages are usually based on stories, historic records or pictures that can be traced back to centuries ago. Some sources indicate that sea creatures can live for thousands of years. Even so, this is based on mere estimates and no facts or official records exist.

Turtles Lifespan

Turtles are grouped into two major categories; small species and large species.
The lifespan of a turtle varies depending on the breed. Small species that are mostly kept as pets can live within the ranger of 30-40 years.

Larger species like sea turtles are capable of living for 80 years. In several reported cases, however, some turtles have effortlessly surpassed this set lifespan.

Why Do Turtles Live Long?

Many theories have tried to explain the secret behind their longevity. Some of the reasons for this are their slow metabolism rate, healthy lifestyle, and theories inclined to reproduction. Turtles are generally slow and this makes them age slower than other creatures.

The turtle and tortoise family strongly portray the saying that ‘You are what we eat’. These creatures observe very healthy feeding habits.

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For example, the Galapagos giant tortoise is strictly vegan. Their diets are usually cholesterol-free and mostly made of greens and fat. Unlike other animals that are at risk of getting harmed or killed by their prey, the turtle family’s shell protects them. Increased security enables them to reproduce over a long time.

Meet Jonathan

It’s hard to believe that a creature born in the turtle family in the 1830s is still alive today but that is the state of the oldest turtle alive. Not only is Jonathan the oldest tortoise alive but he is also the oldest known animal in the world. There is a high chance that the tortoise is fully blind. However, he is still active and walks around freely.
The turtle predominantly lives on one of the Islands of Saint Helena- A British overseas territory in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Interesting facts about Jonathan

  • He has lived longer than the oldest human being ever by about 65 years.
  • The terrestrial animal originated from Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.
  • Jonathan still has a good libido which is proof that he is in a good state of health.
  • He once hit the headlines after it emerged that he was mating with a female tortoise and in other occasions had sex with a male tortoise.
  • Despite being blind, he has a good hearing sense.
  • He is fascinated by the sounds of tennis.
  • He loves bananas and enjoys cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage and apples.

While Jonathan is the current holder of the title ‘oldest tortoise’, he wasn’t always the oldest.

Adwaita The Tortoise

Before his demise in 2006, Adwaita the tortoise was the oldest tortoise to ever have lived. The tortoise lived to a ripe age of 250 years old. The giant tortoise was known to be one of the world’s oldest creatures.

The turtle was taken to a zoo in India as a gift for Lord Robert Clive of the East India Company by British sailors from the Seychelles islands. Adwaita was the Indian zoo’s biggest attraction and they reported that she had been unwell before she died.

Harriet The Turtle

Harriet the turtle also lived to old age before dying. The Galapagos tortoise died in Australia at 175 years. It is on record that Harriet’s death was caused by heart failure.

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