Giant tortoise Jonathan: a short biography and interesting facts
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Giant tortoise Jonathan: a short biography and interesting facts

Giant tortoise Jonathan: a short biography and interesting facts

The Aldabar giant tortoise Jonathan lives on Saint Helena. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean and is part of the British Overseas Territories. The owner of the reptile is the government of the island. The reptile itself considers the territory of the Plantation House to be its possessions.

Jonathan Appears on Saint Helena

Few people can boast that they were personally acquainted with as many as 28 governors. But the turtle Jonathan has every right to do so. And all because they moved him to his current place of residence back in 1882. Since then, the long-liver has been living there, watching how everything around is changing and how one governor replaces another.

Giant tortoise Jonathan: a short biography and interesting facts

From the Seychelles, Jonathan was brought in a company with three relatives. Their shells at that time had dimensions corresponding to 50 years of life.

So the reptiles on the island would have lived nameless, if in 1930 the current governor Spencer Davis had not christened one of the males Jonathan. This giant attracted special attention for its size.

Giant tortoise Jonathan: a short biography and interesting facts

Jonathan’s age

For a long time, no one was interested in how old the exotic reptiles born in the Seychelles are. But time passed, and Jonathan continued to live and grow. And the question of his age began to excite the scientific minds of zoologists.

It is impossible to name the exact date of birth of the reptile, since the turtles were found already adults. But after carefully studying the facts, scientists came to the conclusion that they are about 176 years old.

The proof of this is a picture taken sometime in 1886, in which Jonathan poses for a photographer in front of two men. The age of the reptile, judging by the size of the shell, was then about half a century. From this it follows that the day of her birth falls approximately in 1836. It is easy to calculate that in 2019 the Albadar giant will celebrate its 183rd anniversary.

Giant tortoise Jonathan: a short biography and interesting facts
Photo allegedly of Jonathan (left) (before 1886, or 1900-1902)

Today, Jonathan is the oldest living land creature.

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Scientists have long been interested in the question of why giant tortoises live so long. And this curiosity is by no means idle. They want to use this secret in order to increase the duration of human life.

Giant tortoise Jonathan: a short biography and interesting facts

The longevity of reptiles, according to scientists, is explained by the fact that:

  • turtles are able to stop their heartbeat for a while;
  • their metabolism is slowed down;
  • the negative effect of sunlight is neutralized due to wrinkled skin;
  • long hunger strikes (up to a year!) do not harm the body.

It remains only to find a way to apply knowledge in practice.

Jonathan’s “shameful” secret

When the giant had a girlfriend named Frederica, veterinarians and locals began to look forward to offspring. But – alas! Time passed, and the children of the couple in love did not appear. And this despite the fact that Jonathan regularly performed marital duties.

The secret was revealed when Frederica had problems with the shell. Upon closer examination, it turned out that the loving giant all this time (26 years) gave attention and affection … to the male.

Giant tortoise Jonathan: a short biography and interesting facts

This fact was decided not to be made public, since the locals are unlikely to accept the relationship of two male turtles kindly. After all, already last year they expressed their opposition to the law on same-sex marriage, which had to be immediately repealed.

Important! Very often in closed areas, the reptile population consists of individuals of the same sex. Despite the lack of females, reptiles form strong married couples with a representative of their own sex and even remain faithful to their chosen ones for many years.

A similar case has been reported on an island near Macedonia. So all this is quite normal for reptiles.

Jonathan became the symbol of the island and was honored to be featured on the back of the fivepence coin.

Giant tortoise Jonathan: a short biography and interesting facts

Video: the oldest turtle in the world, Jonathan

Самое старое в мире животное

The famous old giant tortoise Jonathan

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