Meet Jonathan, the world’s oldest land animal who has lived almost 20 decades

A photo dated to c. 1882–86 taken in the grounds of Plantation on St Helena – shortly after Jonathan arrived on the island (Jonathan is shown on the left)

Jonathan the tortoise has been dubbed the world’s oldest land animal by the Guinness of World Records.

The World records states that Jonathan is due to turn 187 years-old in 2019.

Originating from Seychelles, Jonathan now resides on the remote island of St Helena in the South Atlantic.

His estimated birth year is 1832.

The oldest chelonian on record is a radiated tortoise (example shown here)

In his lifetime, Jonathan has lived through the two world wars, the French Revolution, seven monarchs on the British throne and 39 US presidents.

His estimated year of birth also predates the release of the first postage stamp (1840), the building of the first skyscraper (1885) and the completion of the Eiffel Tower (1887) – the tallest iron structure.

Jonathan has outlived the oldest person ever by around 65 years. The greatest authenticated age for a human is a “mere” 122 years 144 days, achieved by Jeanne Calment (1875–1997) from France- Guinness World Records.

The world’s oldest tortoise is virtually blind due to cataracts and seems to have lost all sense of smell, but retains excellent hearing and a healthy appetite. According to his vet, he still has “a good libido” too, which is an indicator of sound internal health.

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