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The Irwin family presented Rhino, the 40-year-old rhinoceros iguana, with a Guinness World Record for his longevity

By Eric Todisco
January 20, 2021 02:51 PM
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Irwins Rhinocerous Iguana
Irwin family and Rhino
| Credit: Australia Zoo/Twitter

A rhinoceros iguana residing at the Australia Zoo has made history.

The 40-year-old iguana, named Rhino, was declared the oldest living rhinoceros iguana by Guinness World Records earlier this week, the reference book announced in a blog post published Wednesday.

According to the post, Rhino nearly doubles the lifespan of the previous title holder, a wild-born specimen that lived to 22 years and 11 months at the Life Fellowship Bird Sanctuary in Seffner, Florida.

The Australia Zoo, owned by Steve Irwin's widow, Terri Irwin, celebrated Rhino's achievement with a Guinness World Record certificate presentation. The zoo shared a photo on Twitter from the celebration, which featured Terri, her children, Bindi and Robert, and Bindi's husband, Chandler Powell, presenting the certificate to Rhino.

"Crikey! Rhino has received a @GWR for the oldest living rhinoceros iguana!" the zoo wrote. "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!"

Bindi — who is pregnant with her first child — also documented her family honoring Rhino on Instagram, writing, "Our sweet rhinoceros iguana, Rhino, just received a Guinness World Record for being the 'World's Oldest Rhinoceros Iguana'. At nearly 41 years of age, Rhino lives at Australia Zoo and loves basking in the sun while eating his favourite treat, hibiscus flowers. We love you dearly, Rhino! 🌺."

According to Guinness World Records, Rhino was born on Feb. 23, 1980 at the Tarongo Zoo in Sydney. He later moved to the Australia Zoo, where he has been since 1993.

Rhinoceros iguanas are native to the Caribbean, where they are found largely on the island of Hispaniola. The species' name comes from their "pseudo-horn," a scaly outgrowth found on the iguana's snout that is reminiscent of a rhinoceros' horn. 

The average lifespan for a rhinoceros iguana in captivity is typically around 16 or 17 years, though some researchers believe that those in the wild could live up to 75 to 80 years old, Guinness World Records said.