ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Turtles Can Live Forever

Updated on September 11, 2009
from slog.thestranger.com
from slog.thestranger.com

Turtles Don't Get Old

This is rather old news, but I am very surprised at the amount of people unaware of the fact that turtles don't age. What is aging? Aging is defined as the deterioration of one's organs. As one gets older, his/her heart, kidney, lungs, liver, etc. begin to deteriorate until they no longer work. Turtles, unlike humans, do not experience this deterioration. An article from the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/12/science/12turt.html, tells us that "turtles don't really die of old age...In fact, if turtles didn’t get eaten, crushed by an automobile or fall prey to a disease, they might just live indefinitely." This is shocking. Never before have we found an animal that shares this capibility of indefinite living. With this information, scientists could look foor the specific gene(s) that grant turtles this amazing ability. They could then use that information to try to give humans the same ability.

Don't Believe Me?

If you are still skeptical, feel free to look at that New York Times article which states the following: "Dr. Christopher J. Raxworthy, the associate curator of herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History, says the liver, lungs and kidneys of a centenarian turtle are virtually indistinguishable from those of its teenage counterpart, a Ponce de Leonic quality that has inspired investigators to begin examining the turtle genome for novel longevity genes." Plus, "Last March, a giant tortoise named Adwaita said to be as old as 250 years died in a Calcutta zoo." Is this amazing or what? Imagine if you could live for an astonishing 250 years. Even with all this information, though, people are still killing turtles all over the world. In many Asian countries, thousands of turtles are killed every single day. This is very sad knowing that such a scientifically valuable animal is dying only to become somebody's meal or a decoration on a wall. We need to preserve these animals that could help us advance dramatically. Just remember, every time you shorten a turtle's life, you could be doing the same to your own.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Bj 

      5 years ago

      Cool

    • profile image

      JJ 

      6 years ago

      Why don't their bodies age? I'd really like to find out, and maybe do a school report on it.

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 

      8 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      What a great hub - I knew turtles were long lived, but had no idea they didn't 'age'. I'm not sure I could go through life looking like Don Rickles though LOL!

    • profile image

      Amanda  

      8 years ago

      I love that turtle.It is so cute!Wonderful info to.

    • profile image

      phrodie 

      8 years ago

      How do you tell the difference between a male and female tortoises?

    • marshall92 profile imageAUTHOR

      marshall92 

      8 years ago

      glassvisage: I agree. I chose the picture mostly to show the similarities between older and younger turtles. Imagine that turtle 1000 times bigger. It would look the same but older.

      sabu singh: Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 

      8 years ago

      Thank you for an interesting and informative Hub. I knew turtles had long lifespans but your inputs are worth knowing.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 

      8 years ago from Northern California

      That is a beautiful photo of a turtle... So much detail and functionality in something so small!

    • marshall92 profile imageAUTHOR

      marshall92 

      8 years ago

      Rochelle Frank: Haha, that's a funny thought. I certainly hope not.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      8 years ago from California Gold Country

      If scientists discover how to use this gene in humans, won't we all end up looking like Don Rickles?

    • marshall92 profile imageAUTHOR

      marshall92 

      8 years ago

      dohn121: I agree, it is very fascinating. Too bad human intervention so often kills these poor creatures.

      Sally's Trove: Thanks for your comment. I checked out the hub you mentioned. The information provided is very sad. As if making cars is more valuable than a turtle's life. I agree, "there is much to be lost." There is also much to be gained if we stop killing turtles.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Turtles are being extinguished not only because they might be someone's meal or decoration on a wall, but because they get in the way of progress. For a chilling example of how turtle nesting grounds are being destroyed in the name of progress, see this Hub...

      https://hubpages.com/politics/on_the_horns_of_a_di

      There is much to be lost...I had no idea about the life expectancy of turtles. Perhaps the mythical fountain of youth is to be found in this humble creature. Thanks for the great info and resources.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 

      8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Yes, I have heard this too, Marshall. It's so fascinating to have heard this, back about 8 years ago from my English professor. Were it not for pollution and human intervention all together, there is a plethora of information supporting this paradox.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)