Question:
What is the lifespan of a turtle?
– Asked by Foo Swee Lee

Answer:
The lifespan of a turtle varies greatly depending on the species of turtle.

For example, a typical pet turtle can live between 10-80 years or so while larger species can easily live over 100 years. According to the “Guinness Book of World Records”, sea turtles have the longest lifespan of up to 152 years.

Harriet the Turtle

Harriet the Turtle

At the time of Harriet the Turtle’s death in 2006, she was the oldest known animal in the world. The giant Galapagos land, which weighed 150 kilograms, had been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living chelonian, or tortoise. She died at the age of 175, at the Australia Zoo in Queensland, Australia, where she was the star attraction.

Scientists though are still unsure how old some turtles get, especially endemic species such as the Galapagos tortoise that have lived for years in isolation. It is difficult to measure the age since it takes centuries, some guess that some turtles could be around 400 to 500 years old.

A comparison of lifespan between selected animals:
Elephant — 69 years
Catfish — 60 years
Horse — 50 years
Chimpanzee — 40 years
Toad — 36 years
Lion — 30 years
Tiger — 25 years

This post is part of Turtle Blogathon 2009, where we stayed up for 24-straight-hours to blog about turtles. Posts written during the Turtle Blogathon are filed in the Turtle Blogathon 2009 category.