Did You Know Steve Irwin And Charles Darwin Owned The Same Tortoise?

Steve Irwin
Courtesy of the Australia Zoo

Of all the links in the animal world, this one I sure didn’t expect.

Charles Darwin is widely known as the man behind evolutionary biology and most notably for his work in the Galapagos Islands.

Steve Irwin is also widely known from his career as a wildlife conservationist, TV host, philanthropist, and being just an all around awesome dude.

While their lines of work were both connected to animals, that pretty much ended the connection I thought the two would have with each other, especially since Darwin died 80 years before Irwin was born.

But it turns out these two will be forever linked by one long-living creature.

While Darwin was out on his adventures, he collected many species of animal to bring back to study. And this collection included a fair number of tortoises.

One such tortoise was named Harriet and, according to some reports, she was cared for directly by Darwin, who brought her back to England for awhile, before sending her to her final home in Australia.

And where was that final home? The Australian Zoo, which was founded by Steve Irwin’s parents and was then owned and operated by, you guessed it, Steve Irwin.

The tortoise lived out the rest of its days peacefully in the care of the best hands on the planet. Harriet lived to be an estimated 175 years old, born around 1830 and passing away in 2006.

I would be remiss if I didn’t add that some researchers do not believe Darwin had a personal connection with the tortoise and it was just one of many collected by his expedition.

But regardless, the fact that Charles Darwin and Steve Irwin most likely laid eyes on – and owned – the very same turtle, over a hundred years apart, is kind of magical.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock