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Thread: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

  1. #1
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapc....ap/index.html

    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."
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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  3. #2
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    It's amazing to me that something can live that long.

    Anyone else know what other animals have really long life spans?

    (besides Julio Franco)
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

  4. #3
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    MAMMALS YEARS
    Elephant 69
    Horse 50
    Hippopotamus 49
    Chimpanzee 40
    Grizzly Bear 32
    Bison 30
    Lion 30
    Tiger 25
    Elk 22
    Mountain Lion 20
    Beaver 19
    Wolf 16
    Squirrel 16
    Chipmunk 12
    Cottontail 10
    House Mouse 4

    BIRDS YEARS
    Turkey Buzzard 118
    Swan 102
    Parrot 80
    Great Horned Owl 68
    Eagle 55
    English Sparrow 23
    Canary 22
    Humming Bird 8

    REPTILES YEARS
    Giant Tortoise 152
    Box Turtle 123
    Alligator 68
    Snapping Turtle 57
    Cobra 28
    Cottonmouth 21

    AMPHIBIANS YEARS
    Giant Salamander 55
    Toad 36
    Bullfrog 30
    Mud Puppy 23
    Green Frog 10
    Newt 7

    FISH YEARS
    Catfish 60
    Eel 55
    Carp 47
    Mosquitofish 2

    INSECTS YEARS
    Cicada 17
    Ant (queen) 15

  5. #4
    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    It's amazing to me that something can live that long.

    Anyone else know what other animals have really long life spans?

    (besides Julio Franco)

    People in the Old Testament?

  6. #5
    saboforthird
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    It's amazing to me that something can live that long.

    Anyone else know what other animals have really long life spans?

    (besides Julio Franco)
    Marge Schott comes to mind.

    I would say any member of the reptile family, or descendant of the dinosaurs.

  7. #6
    saboforthird
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    Quote Originally Posted by RBA
    People in the Old Testament?
    Yeah, they lived 900 years. Uh huh.

  8. #7
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    It's amazing to me that something can live that long.

    Anyone else know what other animals have really long life spans?

    (besides Julio Franco)

    I think no one really knows how long a Great White Shark lives...legend is that they are immortal.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com

  9. #8
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    I think I may have caused the premature death of a box turtle or two. Oops.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

  10. #9
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    Squished a nice size frog in the driveway yesterday with the van.

    I think it was a desperate act of frog euthanasia.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  11. #10
    Bunn-O-matic max venable's Avatar
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    "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..."
    I know I'll never be the same now.
    For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.

  12. #11
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    How can a DNA test show what island she came from?
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

  13. #12
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: 'Darwin's tortoise' dies, age 176

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan
    How can a DNA test show what island she came from?
    Because they are indiginous to said island.


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