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aldabra giant tortoise

Large tortoises are among the longest-lived animals on the planet. Some individual Aldabra Giant Tortoises are thought to be over 100 years of age, but this is difficult to verify because they tend to outlive their human observers. Adwaitya (The One and Only) was reputedly one of four brought by British seamen from the Seychelles Islands as gifts to Robert Clive of the British East India Company in the 18th century and came to Kolkata Zoo in 1875. At its death in March 2006 at the Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) Zoo in India, Adwaitya is reputed to have reached the longest ever measured life-span of 255 years (birth year 1750), although the accuracy of this is disputed due to a lack of contemporary records. Today, Esmeralda is thought to be the oldest living Giant Tortoise at 170 years old, since the death of Harriet at 176, a Galapagos giant tortoise. Esmeralda is an Aldabra Giant Tortoise.

The Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Geochelone gigantea), from the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, is one of the largest tortoises in the world. Similar in size to the famous Galapagos Giant Tortoise, its carapace averages 120 cm (47 inches) in length. The average weight of a male is around 250 kg (551 pounds), but one male at the Fort Worth Zoological Park weighs over 360 kg (793 pounds). This species is widely referred to as Geochelone gigantea but is now placed in the genus Dipsochelys (or sometimes in the invalid genus Aldabrachelys) as Dipsochelys dussumieri.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Aldabra Giant Tortoise".