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Re: 250 yr old Tortoise Dies



> Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 08:18:45 -0700 (MST)
> From: "Richard W. Travsky" <rtravsky@uwyo.edu>
> 
>> "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.
>
>   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.  ...

Not necessarily.  According to the _Guinness Book of Animal Facts and
Feats_, 3rd (and last) edition, 1982:

        On 19 May 1966 the death was reported of "Tu'imalilia"
        (King of the Malilia), the famous but much-battered
        Madagascar radiated tortoise (_Testudo radiata_),
        reputed presented to the king of Tonga by Captain
        James Cook in 1773, but this record was probably a
        composite of two (or more) individuals whose periods
        of residence on the island overlapped.
        [...]
        The greatest authentic age recorded for a tortoise is
        152+ years for a male Marion's tortoise (_Geochelone
        sumeirei_) brought from the Seychelles to Mauritius in
        1766 by the Chevalier de Fresne.

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor  <mike@miketaylor.org.uk>  http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing,
         but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous"
         -- Robert Benchley.