Monday, February 28, 2011

Who Is 179 Years Old?

Why Jonathan, of course.  Jonathan is a Seychelles giant tortoise who is 179 years old.  He was born in 1832.  He was born before computers, telephones and cars were invented.  He was born before the Civil War.  Jonathan lives on the island of St. Helena, off the coast of Africa.  He spends his time on the grounds of the governor’s residence which is called Plantation House.  Jonathan is similar to Galapagos giant tortoises which weigh up to ¼ of a ton and have shells over 3 feet across.
So why do these tortoises live so long?  Scientists do not have a complete answer; more research needs to be done.  Some scientists theorize that it is partly because of the tortoise’s strong shell which serves as protective armor against predators.  Scientists also theorize that tortoises have their young at an older age and therefore put all their energy when they are young towards surviving.

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