how long do galapagos turtles live

How Long Do Galapagos Turtles Live?

The Galapagos Island is home to one of nature’s oldest creatures: the giant land tortoise species (Chelonoidis Nigra). These incredibly resilient creatures have inhabited the Island for centuries and can live to be over 100 years old.


The Galapagos giant tortoise has one of the longest lives in the turtle family. The recorded lifespan of these animals is around 100 to 120 years, however, the oldest known specimen of this species lived to the ripe age of 170 years old. This rare tortoise, known as “Lonesome George”, died in 2012 in the Galapagos Island.

Factors Affecting Longevity

Diet is one of the factors that can dictate how long a Galapagos tortoise can live. These reptiles feed on a variety of grasses, flowers, fruit and carrion throughout the year, which can help them reach an advanced age.

Their shell is also a clear indication of their age as they grow wider and higher as they grow older.

Reasons For Long Life

The Galapagos giant tortoise is among the longest living animals today because of several reasons:

  • Low Metabolism: These animals have a low metabolism which means that the food energy is stored for long periods of time.
  • Ability To Survive Harsh Conditions: Giant tortoises have the capability to survive in extreme climates and harsh environments, allowing them to live longer.
  • Low Predation Pressure: Giant tortoises have a low predation pressure due to their tough shells, making it more difficult for other animals to catch and eat them.


The Galapagos giant tortoise can live to be over a hundred years old, with some specimens reaching 170 years. The main factors that contribute to its longevity are its low metabolism, its capabilities to survive harsh environments and its low predation pressure.

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