Almanac/Happy Birthday, Harriet!
This week, we have facts about Harriet the Galapagos tortoise. She is celebrating her 170th birthday and, perhaps, reminiscing about her days with Darwin on the HMS Beagle.
CURWOOD: Welcome back to Living on Earth. I’m Steve Curwood.
[MUSIC: Unknown Artist, “Tortoise” (LIMEWIRE)]
CURWOOD: Maybe you’re worried about turning 30 or 40 or 50 or more. How about 170? That’s the milestone that Harriet, the giant Galapagos tortoise, celebrates this month. Harriet is the world’s oldest animal on record and was but four or five when none other than Charles Darwin collected her on his famous voyage aboard the HMS Beagle. She traveled much of the world before she finally settled down at the Australia Zoo near Brisbane in 1988.
Harriet isn’t telling her precise birth date but the zoo celebrates it in November because that’s when giant tortoises typically lay their eggs. Although Harriet is enjoying her golden years, her cousins back home are less fortunate. All 11 species of Galapagos tortoises face extinction due to predators that feast on tortoise eggs.
Those troubles won’t bother Harriet on her birthday. She’ll spend the day soaking in a mud bath and munching on hibiscus flowers. And if you’re around the Australia Zoo, stop by for the big birthday bash, complete with cake and dancing. But Harriet herself won’t be kicking high. The key to her longevity is keeping it slow and steady.
And for this week, that’s the Living on Earth Almanac.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Newsletter [Click here]
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth