By Madeleine Muzdakis on January 20, 2022
Happy birthday, Jonathan the giant tortoise!
Birthday wishes are in order for Jonathan the Seychelles giant tortoise. The lumbering giant turns 190 years old in 2022. Already the oldest living land animal, this recent milestone is another Guinness World Record for Jonathan. He is now the oldest chelonian ever—a category which include turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. The super-centenarian is still living the good life on the island of St. Helena as befits such a distinguished creature.
While his exact birth year is not known, Jonathan was at least 50 years old when he arrived on the island of St. Helena from his native Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. He was captured on film in 1886, already fully mature for his species, the Aldabrachelys gigantea hololissa. This makes his birth year 1832 or even earlier. He has lived most of his life on the grounds of the governor’s residence in St. Helena, outlasting 32 governors. […]