Animals

Irwin Family’s Rhinoceros Iguana Was Declared The Oldest In The World

This rhinoceros iguana is almost twice as old as the previous record holder!

Guinness World Records has declared a 40-year-old iguana, named Rhino, the oldest living rhinoceros iguana. To be exact, Rhino was 40 years and 278 days, as of Nov. 27, 2020, and he lives at the Australia Zoo, which is owned by Steve Irwin’s widow, Terri Irwin. 

In a recent blog post, Guinness World Records revealed that Rhino is almost twice the age of the previous holder of the “oldest living rhinoceros iguana” title. That reptile was born in the wild, and lived to 22 years and 11 months at the Life Fellowship Bird Sanctuary in Seffner, Florida. 

On average, a rhinoceros iguana survives up to around 17 years in captivity, and those living in the wild could reach the age of 80, according to Guinness World Records. 

Rhino moved to the Australia Zoo in 1993, after spending his first 13 years at Sydney’s Tarongo Zoo. Naturally, the Australia Zoo celebrated Rhino’s record-breaking title. Terri, her children Bindi and Robert, and Bindi’s husband took part in a Guinness World Record certificate presentation. 

“Crikey! Rhino has received a @GWR for the oldest living rhinoceros iguana!” the zoo wrote on Twitter. “He will be turning 41 this year and is such a special part of our #AustraliaZoo family. He celebrated this remarkable honour with his favourite snack, hibiscus flowers! Congratulations, Rhino!”

Robert Irwin also tweeted about the beloved “old man,” whom he’s known his whole life.

“I’ve known ‘Rhino’ the Rhinoceros iguana for my entire life but his story began long before I was around — now he’s just made history in the Guinness World Records as the oldest rhinoceros iguana in the world! He’s now 41!! We love this old man so much!”

The rhinoceros iguana is a native species of the Caribbean, and is typically found on the island of Hispaniola.

The name comes from their scaly “pseudo-horn,” which is actually a scaly outgrowth, but really does look like a miniature rhinoceros horn. While the function of the “horn” isn’t known for sure, one theory is that it attracts mates during head-bobbing displays.