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190-year-old Jonathan is the oldest tortoise ever

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A 190-year-old tortoise named Jonathan has become the oldest tortoise ever, adding to his list of age-defying accolades. Jonathan is estimated to have been born in 1832, which means he turned, or turns, 190 years old in 2022, Guinness World Records announced on Jan. 12. To put that into context, Jonathan was born before Queen Victoria ascended the British throne in 1837. The elderly Seychelles giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa) was already the Guinness World Record holder for the oldest living land animal, but now he is officially the oldest turtle or tortoise ever recorded. He beat previous record-holder Tu'i Malila, a radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) that lived to be at least 188 years old before dying in 1965. Jonathan lives on St. Helena, an island in the South Atlantic Ocean. "He is a local icon, symbolic of persistence in the face of change," Joe Hollins, Jonathan's veterinarian, told Guinness World Records. 

190-year-old Jonathan is the oldest tortoise ever | Live Science

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Good on him!  Oldest tortoise in human captivity perhaps... they have no way of properly claiming oldest ever.


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  • 10 months later...

World’s oldest recorded tortoise prepares for 190th birthday party

If there is a party animal at large this weekend, Jonathan is it: the Seychelles giant tortoise is about to celebrate his 190th birthday with a three-day bash.

Living on Saint Helena since 1882, when he arrived as a gift to the governor of the small south Atlantic island, he is no stranger to fame, having scooped awards from the Guinness World Records for being the oldest known living land animal and the oldest chelonian – an order comprising tortoises, turtles and terrapins – ever recorded.

While Jonathan has long been covered in wrinkles, he is now also blind with cataracts and lacks a sense of smell. Although his precise date of birth remains unknown, estimates suggest he hatched around 1832. But it was only in November this year that he was finally granted an official birthday, of 4 December 1832, by Nigel Phillips, the governor of the British overseas territory.


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