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Re: 250 yr old Tortoise Dies




On Fri, 24 Mar 2006, James Farlow wrote:
The tortoise had been the pet of Robert Clive, the famous British
military
officer in colonial India around the middle of the 18th century, a
local
minister in West Bengal state said.

"Historical records show he was a pet of British general Robert Clive
of
the East India Company and had spent several years in his sprawling
estate
before he was brought to the zoo about 130 years ago," West Bengal
Forest
Minister Jogesh Barman said.

"We have documents to prove that he was more than 150 years old, but we
have pieced together other evidence like statements from authentic
sources
and it seems that he is more than 250 years old," he said.

I wonder if anybody has made provision to collect the dearly departed's
skeleton?  It would be great fun
to section various bones thereof, to see what kind of record of the
beast's longevity has been preserved, and how much has been lost.
Granted, the fact that the critter had been in captivity, and received
zoo rations, might have mungied up (see, I declare that phrase to be
official, too!) its osteohistological record, but still, this strikes me
as a very fun interesting to do.

They intend to carbon date him.

 http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=457742006
 ...
 "We have documents to prove that he was more than 150 years old, but
 we have pieced together other evidence, like statements from authentic
 sources and it seems he is more than 250 years old."
 ...
 If Adwaitya's age is proved by planned carbon-dating of his shell, he
 will take the longest-lived crown from another tortoise with
 connections to empire.

 Tui Malila, who was presented to the Tongan royal family by Captain
 Cook, in either 1773 or 1777, remained in their care until its death
 from natural causes in 1965. This means Tui Malila was at least either
 188 or 192 years old.
 ...