An image of a giant tortoise is doing rounds on various social media platforms with a claim that it is the picture of ‘Jonathan the tortoise,’ the world’s oldest living land animal alive today.
Many netizens across different social media platforms are disseminating the image featuring a giant tortoise with the claim that it is the photo of the Guinness record-holder ‘Jonathan the tortoise,’ the world’s oldest known terrestrial animal alive.
The image is going viral on Facebook and has garnered the attention of many users.
The viral image was tweeted by several netizens on Twitter with the same claim.
190 year old Jonathan (hatched c. 1832) is a Seychelles giant tortoise and is the oldest known living land animal. Jonathan resides on the island of Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. pic.twitter.com/DTeURrTmhs
— Swathi Bellam (@BellamSwathi) June 18, 2021
The viral image was also tweeted from some of the verified Twitter handles. A verified Twitter user named Rob Szczerba, who according to his Twitter bio is a Rocket Scientist and a senior fellow emeritus at Lockheed Martin(American aerospace, defense, information security, and technology company), also tweeted the same image and captioned it as “Born in 1832 (5 years prior to the coronation of Queen Victoria), Jonathan the Tortoise is due to turn 190 years old in 2022. That makes him the oldest-known land animal alive today.” His tweet had garnered more than 2.3 thousand likes and had been retweeted more than 500 times while writing this news report.
Born in 1832 (5 years prior to the coronation of Queen Victoria), Jonathan the Tortoise is due to turn 190 years old in 2022. That makes him the oldest-known land animal alive today pic.twitter.com/Pvoi3rREwa
— Rob Szczerba (@RJSzczerba) June 16, 2021
Born in 1832, Jonathan the Turtle is expected to turn 190 in 2022. This makes him the oldest known land animal alive today. pic.twitter.com/gEYX51ZwBe
— Incredible pics (@worldscontext) June 16, 2021
@worldscontext, a Twitter user with more than 118 thousand followers on the microblogging site also tweeted the viral image with the caption –
The tortoise in the photo is not Jonathan.
The viral image of the giant tortoise being circulated across several social media platforms with the claim that it is ‘Jonathan the tortoise,’ the oldest known land animal alive today, is misleading.
We took the viral image and did a reverse search on Google and found that the tortoise in the picture is a giant Galapagos tortoise in Australia and not ‘Jonathan the tortoise'(a much-rarer Seychelles tortoise) as the viral tweets and posts claim. During our investigation, we came across a news story published by the daily mail which suggests that ‘Jonathan the tortoise’ is only 45 inches long and can stand only up to two feet tall while on the contrary the tortoise in the viral image is much larger than that.
After conducting a reverse image search on Google we discovered a Facebook post, posted on 30 April 2014 by Taronga Zoo Sydney on its official Facebook page. The post features the viral image, but the tortoise in the post is not ‘Jonathan the tortoise’ it is in fact a giant Galapagos tortoise. The image was captured when two tiny Galapagos hatchlings were born in 2014 as a part of the Galapagos tortoise breeding program undertaken at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
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