Jonathan, at 190, is the oldest known turtle

Jonathan was already the oldest known living land animal. Today, she has become the oldest turtle in history.

Jonathan lives in Saint Helena, an island in the South Atlantic.

It is estimated that Jonathan was born in 1832, which means that this year he will be 190 years old. This is indicated by the Guinness World Records organization.

This ancient Seychelles giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa) already held the Guinness World Record for the oldest living land animal, but now it’s officially the oldest turtle ever known.

He overtook the previous record holder, Tu’i Malilaa radiated tortoise (Astrochelys struck off) who lived at least 188 years before dying in 1965.

It is a local icon, a symbol of perseverance in the face of change.

Joe Hollins, Jonathan’s vet.

Jonathan arrived on Saint Helena in 1882, when he was in his 50s, according to the British Museum in London.

A photograph of Jonathan dated between 1882 and 1886 suggests he was at least 50 when taken, so he could be over 190 today.

Now Jonathan is blind and can’t smell, but he continues to graze the grounds of the St. Helena Governor’s residence, where he lives with his fellow giant tortoises David, Emma and Fred.

He is hand-fed once a week so that he gets enough food. What he likes the most is cabbage, cucumber and carrots. Besides eating, Jonathan’s main interests are sleeping and mating.

Despite his age, Jonathan still has a good libido and is often seen copulating.

Joe Hollins

Scientists still don’t understand all the processes that allow turtles like Jonathan to live so long. Giant tortoises rapidly shed damaged cells in a process called apoptosiswhich can help protect against cell damage that normally deteriorates with age.

Jonathan’s longevity may be unmatched on land, but some animals live longer in water. For example, Greenland sharks (Sleeping microcephaly) have an estimated maximum lifespan of at least 272 years.

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