Jump to content

"Darwin's Tortoise" dies -- age 176!


Beetle
 Share

Recommended Posts

Oh, if that animal could speak... the stories it would've told.

 

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- A 176-year-old tortoise, believed by some to have been owned by Charles Darwin, has died in an Australian zoo.

 

The giant tortoise, known as Harriet, was long reputed to have been one of three tortoises taken from the Galapagos Islands by Darwin on his historic 1835 voyage aboard the HMS Beagle.

 

However, historical records, while suggestive, don't prove the claim, and some scientists have cast doubt on the story, with DNA tests confirming Harriet's age but showing she came from an island that Darwin never visited.

 

According to local legend, Harriet was just five years old and probably no bigger than a dinner plate when she was taken from the Galapagos to Britain.

 

She spent a few years in Britain before being moved to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in Australia's tropical Queensland state in the mid-1800s, where she was mistaken for a male and nicknamed Harry, according to Australia Zoo, which later bought the 150-kilogram (330-pound) tortoise.

 

The Queensland-based zoo is owned by "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin and his wife Terri.

 

"Harriet sadly died last night after, thankfully, a very short illness," senior veterinarian Jon Hanger told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Friday.

 

"She'd been sick yesterday with, in effect, heart failure. She had a very fairly acute heart attack and thankfully passed away quietly overnight," Hangar said.

 

Irwin said he considered Harriet a member of the family.

 

"Harriet has been a huge chunk of the Irwin family's life," Irwin said Saturday.

 

"She is possibly one of the oldest living creatures on the planet and her passing today is not only a great loss for the world but a very sad day for my family. She was a grand old lady."

 

Harriet was believed to be the world's oldest living tortoise, and one of its oldest living creatures. Despite her longevity, however, Harriet is not the world's oldest known tortoise.

 

That title was awarded by the Guinness Book of World Records to Tui Malila, a Madagascar radiated tortoise that was presented to the royal family of Tonga by British explorer Captain James Cook in the 1770s. It died in 1965 at the ripe age of 188.

 

Scientist Paul Chambers cast doubt on Harriet's Darwin connection in an article in the New Scientist magazine and a book, "The Unexpected History of the Giant Tortoise."

 

Source: CNN.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Harriet was believed to be the world's oldest living tortoise, and one of its oldest living creatures

 

What the hell is older than a tortoise?

 

:mischief2

 

Trees.

 

There are some trees out there that are more than 200 years old.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Harriet was believed to be the world's oldest living tortoise, and one of its oldest living creatures

 

What the hell is older than a tortoise?

 

:mischief2

 

Trees.

 

There are some trees out there that are more than 200 years old.

I know trees are older, but trees aren't creatures!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Harriet was believed to be the world's oldest living tortoise, and one of its oldest living creatures

 

What the hell is older than a tortoise?

 

:mischief2

 

Trees.

 

There are some trees out there that are more than 200 years old.

I know trees are older, but trees aren't creatures!

Then what the hell is it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Fritz

Harriet was believed to be the world's oldest living tortoise, and one of its oldest living creatures

 

What the hell is older than a tortoise?

 

:mischief2

 

Trees.

 

There are some trees out there that are more than 200 years old.

I know trees are older, but trees aren't creatures!

They live, they die, they're living beings. Not terribly abstract.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...