Turtles are some of the most ʟᴏɴɢ-ʟɪᴠᴇᴅ creatures on the planet, with some species living for more than a century. However, one turtle has defied all odds by ʟɪᴠɪɴɢ to an incredible 190 years old and still being able to ᴍᴀᴛᴇ. This turtle is Jonathan, the ᴏʟᴅᴇsᴛ ʟɪᴠɪɴɢ turtle in the world. Jonathan first arrived at its present home on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic in 1882. At the time, the tortoise was thought to be 50 years old.
The ᴏʟᴅᴇsᴛ ʟɪᴠɪɴɢ Turtle
Now, at the age of 190, Jonathan is 122 centimeters long, the same size it was when it arrived on the island. Jonathan belongs to the Seychelles giant tortoise, reaching full maturity by age 50.
Some naturalists suggest that it may even be older. Dᴇsᴘɪᴛᴇ his long ʟɪꜰᴇ, Jonathan only attracted worldwide attention in 2008 when the Independent reported that the animal turned 176 years old. Jonathan is so famous that he was named the island’s official mascot and even granted his Instagram account.
According to the source, Jonathan ʟɪᴠᴇs much longer than the average ʟɪꜰᴇsᴘᴀɴ of the Seychelles giant tortoise, which is 150 years old. The turtle was only five years old when the Queen of England ascended the throne and ʟɪᴠᴇᴅ through two wᴏʀʟᴅ ᴡᴀʀs. It also ʟɪᴠᴇᴅ through 39 US presidential terms.
Born in 1832, Jonathan ʟɪᴠᴇᴅ most of his ʟɪꜰᴇ in the governor’s plantation house. It can be seen as the symbol of the island. Jonathan’s image even appears on the reverse of a 5-cent coin from the island of Saint Helena.
Dᴇsᴘɪᴛᴇ His Advanced Age, Jonathan Regularly ᴍᴀᴛᴇs With Emma (Female Turtle) And Sometimes With Fred (Male Turtle)
Scientists have even studied Jonathan to determine the health benefits that can be derived from its diet and ᴄᴇʟʟs. Because Jonathan’s ᴄᴇʟʟsdo not ᴍᴜᴛᴀᴛᴇ in the same way as human ᴄᴇʟʟs, researchers hope it may reveal the secret to ꜰɪɢʜᴛɪɴɢ ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ in humans.
According to CNN, in St. Helena, the tortoise Jonathan is a real celebrity. Jonathan ʟɪᴠᴇs with three other giant tortoises, David, Emma and Fred, respectively.
Although old age made Jonathan ʙʟɪɴᴅ and he ʟᴏsᴛ the ability to sᴍᴇʟʟ, the turtle’s ʜᴇᴀʀɪɴɢ is still good, ʀᴇsᴘᴏɴᴅɪɴɢ well to the sounds of the veterinarian caring for him.
This ability to ᴍᴀᴛᴇ at such an old age is a ᴛᴇsᴛᴀᴍᴇɴᴛ to the resilience and ʟᴏɴɢᴇᴠɪᴛʏ of turtles. In the wild, turtles ꜰᴀᴄᴇ many ᴄʜᴀʟʟᴇɴɢᴇs that can ʟɪᴍɪᴛ their ʟɪꜰᴇsᴘᴀɴ, such as ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ, and habitat ʟᴏss. However, turtles like Jonathan can ʟɪᴠᴇ well beyond their expected ʟɪꜰᴇsᴘᴀɴ in ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ, thanks to proper care and a safe environment.