AnAge entry for Chelonoidis nigra

Classification (HAGRID: 03769)

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
        Class: Reptilia (Taxon entry)
            Order: Testudines (Taxon entry)
                Family: Testudinidae
                    Genus: Chelonoidis
Chelonoidis nigra
Common name
Galapagos tortoise
Geochelone nigra, Testudo californiana, Testudo galapagoensis

Lifespan, ageing, and relevant traits

Maximum longevity
177 years (captivity)
ref. 451
Sample size
Data quality

Galapagos tortoises are long-lived and may feature negligible senescence. They appear to take around 20 years to become sexually mature and can grow for several decades. There are many records of animals living over 60-70 years in captivity. In 1928, Charles Townsend of the New York Zoological Society imported several animals, many of which are still alive in North American zoos [0451]. Anecdotal evidence suggests these animals may live over 100 years, including one record of 177 years [0543], which seems plausible. "Harriet," a specimen allegedly collected from the Galapagos Islands by Charles Darwin, was estimated to be about 176 years old when she died in 2006 at the Australia Zoo in Queensland. These animals have a very low level of genetic polymorphism and weakened purifying selection, possibly in response to changing environmental conditions and elongated lifespan [1171].

Life history traits (averages)

No information is available on life history. Please contact us if you wish to suggest or contribute data.


No information on metabolism is available.


External Resources

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
ITIS 949447
Animal Diversity Web
ADW account (if available)
Encyclopaedia of Life
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NCBI Taxonomy
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Ageing Literature
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Google Image search
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