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Darwin's tortoise turns 167 years young

Meet Harriet
1.5M/18 sec./240x180
752K/18 sec./160x120
QuickTime movie
November 14, 1997
Web posted at: 11:07 p.m. EST (0407 GMT)

GOLD COAST, Australia (CNN) -- Harriet, a giant tortoise believed by some experts to be the oldest living creature on Earth, celebrated her 167th birthday Friday at an Australian zoo.

Harriet was given a serenade of "Happy Birthday" from local schoolchildren, and zookeepers brought her colorful flowers and a cake to celebrate her big day. She promptly ate the flowers.

Genetic testing on Harriet showed that she was probably born in 1830. Local lore has it that at the age of five, she was taken from the Galapagos Islands to London by none other than famed naturalist Charles Darwin.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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