Find a list of your saved stories here

Descendants of extinct tortoise species found in Galapagos

Descendants of extinct tortoise species found in Galapagos


2 photos
Save Story

Save stories to read later


Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Conservationists working around the largest volcano on the Galapagos Islands say they have found 30 giant tortoises partially descended from two extinct species, including that of the famed Lonesome George.

The Galapagos National Park and Galapagos Conservancy said Friday that a young female has a direct line of descent from the Chelonoidis abingdonii species of Pinta Island. The last of those tortoises was Lonesome George, who died in June 2012 and was believed to be over 100 years old.

Another 11 males and 18 females were from the Chelonoidis niger line of Floreana Island.

The 45-member expedition was working around the Wolf Volcano on Isabela island. It said pirates and whalers had taken tortoises from other islands in the archipelago and left them near the volcano.

Those found during the new expedition were hybrids descended from both the extinct and other species.

The Galapagos, whose variety of endemic species helped inspire Charles Darwin, held 15 closely related species of tortoise, according to the Conservancy, which estimates that 20,000–25,000 wild tortoises live on the islands today. At least four of the species are now considered extinct.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos

Most recent World stories

Related topics

World
The Associated Press

    STAY IN THE KNOW

    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast