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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Jonathan, The World’s Oldest Living Tortoise

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Jonathan, a 190-year-old tortoise, has been crowned the world’s oldest living land animal by the Guinness Book of World Records, in what is thought to be an uncommon occurrence.

In 2022, the tortoise on St Helena Island, British Overseas Territory, will be 190 years old.

Jonathan is believed to have been born in 1832, making him 190 years old in 2022, according to the records website.

“Jonathan’s age is an estimate based on the fact that when he landed in St Helena from the Seychelles in 1882, he was fully adult, and so at least 50 years old.” “He is quite likely older than we realize,” the records site noted.

He is the “oldest chelonian,” according to the official record title, which includes all turtles, terrapins, and tortoises.

As he gets older, he loses his sense of smell and becomes blind.

“However, his hearing is superb, and he enjoys being in the presence of humans, and he responds favorably to his vet Joe Hollins’ voice because he links him with a feast,” says the veterinarian.

According to the records site, the veterinary section is still hand-feeding him once a week to supplement his calories, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.

Tu’i Malila, a tortoise who lived to be at least 188 years old, held the previous record. Captain Cook donated it to the royal family of Tonga in 1777, and it remained in their care until its death in 1965, according to the website.

Cabbage, cucumber, carrot, apple, and other seasonal fruits are among Jonathan’s favorites.

“He enjoys bananas, although they tend to clog his lips. “Lettuce hearts are a favorite, despite their lack of nutritional value,” according to the website.

Interesting facts about tortoises include:

Tortoises are turtles, but turtles aren’t tortoises.

Yes, you did read that right. Although these two animals are related, they aren’t the same as one another. Turtles are shelled reptiles that belong to the Chelonii order. On the other hand, a tortoise simply refers to a type of terrestrial turtle. There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, there is a type of land-dwelling box turtle. But for the most part, turtles are aquatic, and tortoises aren’t.

An easy way to tell the difference between these two animals is by looking at the shells and feet. Aquatic turtles have webbed flippers and long claws with flatter shells. Tortoise’s feet are stubby with larger, domed shells.

Weather determines gender.

The gender inside of a tortoise egg isn’t determined right away. The weather plays a significant role in the sex of the hatchlings. When it’s cold, more males are born. When it’s warm, more females are born.

Weather changes their shell colors.

Weather doesn’t only play a role in their sex, but also the colors of their shells. Tortoises found in hot, desert climates have lighter colored shells to reflect light, and cooler climates produce darker colors that absorb more heat.

Tortoises cannot swim.

You would think that being so closely related to turtles would help you be a master swimmer, but tortoises cannot swim. They can, however, hold their breath for up to half an hour.

They smell with their throats.

A lot of reptiles, include tortoises, use their throats to smell instead of their noses. They have a vomeronasal organ on the roof of their mouths and pump air through the nose and around the mouth to use it.

They don’t have teeth but still chew their food.

Even without teeth, the sharp edges of their upper and lower jaws help them clamp down on food. Their tongues guide the food to the rear of their mouths for them to swallow.

They reach sexual maturity by size instead of age.

It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been alive; tortoises are only sexually mature when they reach a certain size. Each breed’s sexual maturity size differs.

Sulcatas are some of the biggest tortoise species.

Sulcata tortoises live over 100 years and can weigh nearly 200 pounds. These gentle giants are the third largest in the world and the most popular choice for a pet. They are only smaller than the Galapagos and Aldabra giant tortoises.

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