galapagos giant tortoises


“The Galapagos Islands were appropriately named the isles of the tortoises. From the time of their discovery by the Spaniards early in the sixteenth century, down to the middle of the nineteenth century, their outstanding feature was the presence of great numbers of land tortoises of gigantic size.” 

– Charles Haskins Townsend, The Galapagos Tortoises in their Relation to the Whaling Industry, 1925



Jonathan the Tortoise, oldest living animal (at 184) and shell star extraordinaire, received his first bath this week! 

In anticipation of a royal visitor to his sanctuary on St. Helena,  Vet Joe Hollins assisted Jonathan in a little sprucing up. Surgical soap and soft brushes were used to avoid injuring his shell and ensure the spa treatment was enjoyable for the royal tortoise.

‘We gave him a good scrub as we are expecting a royal visitor who is going to meet him so we want him to look his best.

'He looks so much cleaner and he seemed to enjoy the whole experience.

'Jonathan stood like a statue when I was washing him, I don’t know whether that was the vibrations he found soothing or he was thinking “at last, I’ve had my first bath!”

Seems even Jonathan enjoys a quality bum rub! We tend to think the royal visitors should be sprucing up for Jonathan but hey, any excuse for a tortoise spa day is a good one! 

At 184 years old, Jonathan has lived through more history than most of us can remeber reading in school. 

He currently shares his enclosure with four other giant tortoises - David, Emma, Frederika and Myrtle.

Although he has lost his sense of smell and his eyesight is fading, Jonathan is said to be in good health.

Dr Hollins, 58, now has to take his loofah to the other tortoises and some of them are dirtier than their elderly friend Jonathan.

Following the death of Harriet, a 175-year-old giant Galapagos Land tortoise, in 2005 in Australia, Jonathan has been recognised as the world’s oldest living land animal.

St Helena was chosen as the place of Emperor Napoleon’s second exile and the French dictator died there in 1821.

Keep being awesome Jonathan! A true king among shells. 


Lisa Edelstein becomes friends with a living dinosaur at the Turtle Conservancy! She supports turtle and tortoise conservation, you should too!


My Top 3 Favorite Tumblr Artists:

@frostedworld - the one and only Finnish 17 year old who fangirls about Jacksepticeye just as much as me. She draws amazingly cute stuff and was one of the first art people I followed. AAAAHH HELP ME! Her art is to cute for my life! She is and will forever be such a huge inspiration to me. You deserve some fan art girl! Keep fangirling and being you no matter what!
@cheapcookiez - le French cookie who is sweeter than honey and super talented. This cookie is extra super involved with its community of cookies and makes everyone smile. Its art style will be the death of me AND its making Subscibe and Punch?! *dies happy because it’s too good for life* Keep your gif and Youtuber ship game strong French cookie!
@laplios - last but not least, my husband who is always there for me when I need her. She is a bird, lizard, and Galapagos giant tortoise who has shown me true friendship along with my other husbands (who don’t draw). I thank her very much for being a huge part of my inspiration for even trying to post my art here on Tumblr. Hope we stay married until death do us part again….. Heh.

¡¡¡Love you guys!!!