If you have ever wondered who might be the oldest living (land) animal on Earth, we have the answer. His name is Jonathan, he is a tortoise, and he just turned 190 today!
Nearly two centuries old, this Seychelles giant tortoise holds the Guiness World Record for the oldest living land animal on the planet. In fact, Jonathan actually holds two world records – the oldest terrestrial animal and the oldest ever chelonian. The term refers to all turtles, tortoises and terrapins.
Jonathan lived much part of his life on the South Pacific island of St. Helena. The giant tortoise was brought here in 1882 from Seychelles. At the time, he was reportedly 50-year-old. So, if our calculations are accurate Jonathan hatched in 1883.
AS it turns out, the 190-year-old Jonathan isn’t famous just because of his age, but he might also be the first land animal ever captured on camera. When he was brought to the island where he still lives now, a snap of his was taken. That happened 140 years ago.
Although the exact day of his birth is (understandably) unknown, the Governor of St. Helena decided that starting from this year, 4th of December to be Jonathan’s official birthday.
As you can imagine, being so old comes with some issues. But despite he’s blind and he lost his smell, Jonathan is still pretty energetic. But to keep his body in such a good shape, the tortoise has a strict diet!
Jonathan the tortoise, the oldest ever, is turning 190 with a three day party.
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) December 2, 2022