Lonesome George & Longevity

Lonesome George, the Galapagos tortoise died this week at the age of around 100 years. But even he didn’t reach his species longest age north of 200 years. What a symbol of longevity those creatures. I’d like to hear the story of the one who lived the maximum. Maybe he knew Charles Darwin.

A necropsy may reveal George’s cause of death to be nothing more than negligible senescence. But what of his secret of longevity? Looking at his photo my guess is that anti-aging creams didn’t help his stretch marks. From what I’ve read there are many unique combinations of biological reasons and natural habitat conditions that make it hard to really say, at least in George’s case.

Along the trail of commentary following the loss of Lonesome George comes the question, “what can we learn about the secret of human longevity ?” In an amusing way this tripped my mind to the book I’ve just finished – The Longevity Project , by Friedman and Martin Ph.D.’s.

The American based Longevity Project looks at psychological and human longevity factors like how we handle stress from things like divorce, illness, educational and career path choices, not to forget gender differences and patterns of “successful” people. I’m not sure if the tortoise can be compared with these human items of study.

But there are scientists looking at engineered negligible senescence possibilities for humans! So maybe if we became more like George by way of “slowing down”, there might be hope for us.

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