80-Year-Old Galapagos Tortoise Has Nine Little Hatchlings
Weighing in at only a few hundred grams, nine baby Galápagos tortoises hatched to parents Nigrita and Jumbo last year at the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland.
The Zurich Zoo is home to the only institution in Europe in which the endangered Galapagos giant tortoises are being bred.
These extraordinary animals are amongst the longest-living animals on the planet and the longest living of all vertebrates, averaging over 100 years. The oldest recorded alive was 152.
Although unlikely, there is a possibility that one of the remaining giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands is old enough to have been around for Charles Darwin’s famous visit in 1835.
If all goes well for these little guys they could see a future no one alive today will. They are also the world’s largest tortoises, with some reaching 550 pounds (250 kilograms). Nigrita is only 220 pounds so she still has some growing to do.