And She Didn't Look A Day Over 150!

In the news, Harriet the tortoise has died at about age 176. Now, 176 years is a good long run, far longer than you or I will likely get, even with the advances in medicine and longevity therapies. However, the drawbacks are that to live that long, you have to eat a monotonous diet of leaves and you never get to move faster than about 0.01 miles per hour under your own power. And there's that shell. (Long) life is full of little trade-offs.

Still, it's interesting to think about all of the history that tortoise saw (or didn't see) in her long lifetime. It's believed that she was studied by Charles Darwin himself, before being taken to Australia. In 1830, about the time when Harriet was hatched, Andrew Jackson wasn't on the $20 bill, he was in the White House. The U.S. population in 1830 was less than 13 million; today, we're closing in on 300 million. Harriet lived through a lot of changes.