Aug 21, 2012 4:00 PM by Kirsten Bennett
A family from Sardinia, Italy has set a new world record for longevity, taking the title for the highest combined age for nine living siblings.
The three brothers and six sisters from the Melis family had a collective age of 818 years and 205 days verified by Guinness World Records in June.
The eldest of the siblings, who have become local legends in their village of Perdasdefogu, is Consolata, who turns 105 years tomorrow.
Consolata is followed by 99-year-old Claudina, who was seen Sunday in the front row at morning Mass in the local church of St. Peter.
Next is Maria (not pictured), at 97; Antonio at 93; Concetta aged 91; followed by 89-year-old Adolfo who still works in a local bar.
Other siblings include Vitalio, 81, Fida, 80, and finally the baby of the bunch, 78-year-old Mafalda, who lives in Cagliari with Vitalio.
According to local newspaper La Nuova Sardegna, the eldest sibling Consolata claims to be happiest because she is surrounded by nine children, 24 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren.
Commenting on their record, Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief for Guinness World Records said: "The Mediterranean lifestyle is always held up as being beneficial to a long, healthy life, and Italians in particular feature prominently in the list of supercentenarians and centenarians.
"Seven out of the 70 people alive over the age of 110 are Italian, for example, and the world's second-oldest living person is the Italy-born Dina Manfredini, who was born in Emilia-Romagna although now lives in the USA".