The World’s Oldest Living Animal on Land

Jonathan the oldest Tortoise on the St Helena. photo source:

Since 1900, the average life expectancy on a global scale has more than doubled to more than 70 years. Many of the world’s wealthiest nations have populations with life expectancies exceeding 80 years. Spain, Switzerland, Italy, and Australia all have a life expectancy of more than 83 years in 2019. Japan had the longest life expectancy, at nearly 85 years.

Human longevity is growing, and will continue to do so. But when compared to certain other creatures, the human life span is practically nothing to brag about.

Jonathan(left) arrived on the St Helena. photo source:

The Oldest Known Land Animal Alive Today

Jonathan, a 190-year-old Aldabra giant tortoise who resides on St. Helena, an island in the South Atlantic Ocean, is the world’s oldest known land animal.

Jonathan is a Seychelles-born giant tortoise. Guinness World Records has named him the world’s oldest living land animal at 187 years old.

Jonathan First Day Cover. photo source:
Jonathan the Giant Tortoise 5 Pence. photo source:

Did You Know?

  • Jonathan is the world’s oldest terrestrial animal that is still alive today.
  • Jonathan has outlived the world’s oldest person by almost 67 years.
  • Jonathan is the oldest and longest-lived chelonian. (Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins are members of the Chelonia scientific order)
  • Jonathan is the all-time verified record holder for the world’s oldest tortoise.
  • Jonathan, the giant tortoise, is the oldest living reptile on the planet.
  • Jonathan the tortoise became so well-known that he was named one of St. Helena’s seven wonders in 2018.
  • Jonathan, the world’s oldest land animal, is featured in the 2019 St Helena Stamp Issues.
  • Jonathan appears on the reverse of the Saint Helena five-pence coin.

Sources:Wikipedia, Saint Helena Island Info, Guinness World Records, Wanderlust

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

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