A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Oldest Living Beings

Speaking of the awareness of our own mortality and the anxiety that this inspires (see my previous post), here are some of Earth’s longest living beings. [readon]

First there’s Jonathan, the world’s oldest living tortoise. Last I read of him was four years ago, when he was at least 176 years old and living on a plantation in the South Atlantic island of St. Helena, along with his buddies David, Speedy, Emma, Fredricka and Myrtle. Here he is in 2008:


… and here he is in 1900, at the ripe young age of about 70, eating grass in South Africa next to a prisoner from the Boer War:


And Greener Ideas has a list of other golden oldies, including one who’s more than 4,000 years old. (You may say “Oh, that’s not really an animal,” but you’d be wrong; she is.)

And then there’s Turritopsis nutricula, a stunningly beautiful jellyfish, who is apparently immortal:

She grows up, she grows old, she grows younger, she starts over, and then she grows up all over again.