Jonathan is not a turtle like the others. That is “a local icon, a symbol of perseverance in the face of change”as vet Joe Hollin explains, quoted by scientific post. And for good reason, born in 1832, it just broke the longevity record for a land animal.
If you wander around the island of Saint Helena, you might come across its mascot: Jonathan. This Seychelles giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa) arrived in the region in 1882 at the age of fifty. And it seems she is perfectly used to it. The proof is that today it celebrates its 190th birthday.
Jonathan is therefore officially the oldest living land animal and most importantly the oldest turtle ever recorded on Earth, according to the Guinness World Records. The reptile just broke the old record of Tu’i Malila, a radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) disappeared in 1965 at the age of 188.
Now if Jonathan is blind and has lost his sense of smell, he remains in good health and even a sexual activity is still the focus, as his vet explains: “You often see him mating with Emma and sometimes with Fred, these animals are often not particularly gender sensitive! » He is hand fed once a week to ensure he is getting all the calories, vitamins and minerals he needs.
Note that this turtle is the oldest living land animal, but not aquatic. Greenland sharks (somniosus microcephalus), for example, can live to be 270 years. So the little reptile has a new record to beat.
Long live Jonathan!