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World's oldest animals: The record-breaking creatures who defied time

Record-breaking animals, from Jonathan the tortoise (190) to Spike the dog (23).
Record-breaking animals, from Jonathan the tortoise (190) to Spike the dog (23).

A Chihuahua in America has been named the world's oldest living dog - after reaching the ripe old age of 23 years and 43 days.

Spike, who was found abandoned in a car park 13 years ago by current owner Rita Kimball, has defied the average lifespan of a dog by about 10 years.

It's even more impressive considering the cruel mistreatment he had endured: Kimball told Guiness World Records "he had been shaved up his back [and] had blood stains around his neck from a chain or rope".

To mark Spike's achievement, Yahoo News UK takes a look at a selection of other record-breaking animals who have defied the march of time.

Jonathan the tortoise (190 and counting)

Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise, believed to be the oldest reptile living on earth with and alleged age of 185 years, crawls through the lawn of the Plantation House, the United Kingdom Governor official residence on October 20, 2017 in Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. / AFP PHOTO / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA        (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP via Getty Images)
Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise, pictured in 2017. (AFP via Getty Images)

Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise, is the world's oldest living land animal, having celebrated his 190th birthday last month.

Based in Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean, Jonathan is also the oldest tortoise ever and, as pointed out by Guiness World Records last year, has lived through milestones such as the first photograph (1838) and invention of the lightbulb (1878).

In an update last year, the Saint Helena government said Jonathan is fed "by hand once a week to boost his calories, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, as he is blind and has no sense of smell. His hearing though is excellent and he loves the company of humans, and responds well to his vet Joe Hollins' voice as he associates him with a feast."

Flossie the cat (27 and counting)

Flossie the cat. (PA)
Flossie the cat. (PA)

The average lifespan of a cat is between 12 and 14 years, but London-based Flossie has doubled this.

In November, she became the world's oldest living cat by reaching 26 years and 329 days.

After she was handed to the Cats Protection charity earlier in the year, she was matched with Vicki Green, of Orpington and also aged 27, who said: "I knew from the start that Flossie was a special cat, but I didn’t imagine I’d be sharing my home with a Guinness World Records title holder. She’s so affectionate, playful and sweet, especially when you remember how old she is."

Cookie the parrot (83)

Cookie at his 83rd birthday party in 2016. (Chicago Zoological Society)
Cookie at his 83rd birthday party in 2016. (Chicago Zoological Society)

Cookie, an 83-year-old Major Mitchell’s cockatoo, was the oldest bird to have ever lived.

He lived at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago and was part of its original collection of animals when it opened in 1934.

He died in 2016 and the Chicago Zoological Society said he "touched many people’s lives", adding: "He was a very charismatic animal and definitely had a loyal fan base. He will be greatly missed.”

Fatou the gorilla (65 and counting)

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 13: Gorilla Fatou residing at Berlin Zoo celebrates her 65th birthday with a birthday cake made of fruits in Berlin, Germany on April 13, 2022. (Photo by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Fatou enjoys her 65th birthday cake in April last year. (Getty Images)

Fatou is the oldest living gorilla in captivity and turned 65 in April last year. The normal lifespan of a gorilla is about 35 years.

Residing at Berlin Zoo, she was given a birthday cake made of fruit to celebrate the milestone - and scoffed the whole thing in one sitting.

Muja the alligator (86 and counting)

An alligator named Muja eats a quail in its enclosure in Belgrade's Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, the Second World War and all hardships the Zoo went through. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
Muja pictured at Belgrade Zoo in 2018. (Reuters)

Muja is the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity.

He was brought to Belgrade Zoo from Germany in 1937, a year after it opened. He survived three bombings of the city, two during the Second World War and one during the NATO bombing of Yugoslav in 1999. In his latter years, he has even become a hit on TikTok.