How to live to be 250

Humans are among the longest-lived animals, but there are some species which live considerably longer. Though elephants have a similar lifespan to humans, the longest lived animal appears to be the giant tortoise, which have a few varieties such as the Aldabra tortoise from the Seychelles and its distant relative from the Galapagos islands in the Pacific off Ecuador.

These tortoises are known for their size as well as their longetivity:

In particular, one of the Aldabra tortoises lived to an estimated age of 255 until he died in the Alipore Zoo in 2006:

Several references consider him to be the longest-lived tortoise of all time, though it may not be possible to find records for all the contenders.

Although his date of birth is not documented properly, it is known that he was part of Robert Clive’s household and moved to the zoo around 1875 at an estimated age of 124.

At this point you may ask,”What is so special about these animals that they live that long?”. Here is the standard zoological explanation:

or, in more detail;

However, one should also look at this paragraph about Adwaita once more:

“Weighing 250 kg (551 lb), Adwaita was a solitary animal with no records of his progeny. He lived on a diet of wheat bran, carrots, lettuce, soaked gram (chickpea), bread, grass and salt.”

So there you have it, the secret of leading an exceptionally long life.

But it is incorrect to say that giant tortoises have no interest in reproduction. In fact the males get rather annoyed when humans disturb them in the act, and the result is the chase shown below by one of Adwaita’s relatives in the Seychelles.What they lack in speed they make up in determination:

Here are more pictures of Adwaita:×288.jpg

Here is another one who presently lives at the Alipore Zoo. We neglected to get its details, though it may be of the Galapagos variety: