Tortoises are one of the reptile species of the family Testudinidae of the order testudines. They are particularly distinguished from other turtles by being exclusively land-dwelling, while many other turtle species are at least partly aquatic.
With an average of 177years life span, tortoises are considered as one of the longest living vertebrates inland animals on earth. It is said that Harriet a Galapagos tortoise that died of heart failure in 2006 at the age of 175years at a zoo owned by the Late Steve Irwin was one of the oldest tortoises.
A Seychelles tortoise named Jonathan, at 187years, recently made it into the Guinness World Record as the oldest known living land animal.
Scientists believe that the lifespans of giant tortoises like Jonathan and George live long because of their gene variants and DNA that is able to repair themselves.
Moreover, the reason why those animals can live more than 200years is their slow metabolism. Ironically is also part of the reason why the tortoise population has declined so much.
In fact, there are a number of creatures whose lifespans are older than living beings like a spring chicken by comparison.