10 Jan '12, 12am

Giant Tortoise Species May Not Be So Extinct After All

Giant Tortoise Species May Not Be So Extinct After All

For the last century-and-a-half, a species of Giant tortoise native to the Galapogos Islands was believed to be extinct -- but in light of new DNA findings, scientists are echoing a very tortoise-y mantra: 'not so fast'. Although the species in question, Chelonoidis elephantopus , may have disappeared from sight 150 years ago, researchers recently found tantalizing genetic clues suggesting that they're not only still around, they are breeding with other Giant tortoises. Studying the DNA of some existant C. becki tortoises on the Galapagos's Isabela Island, scientists discovered 84 individuals that appeared to be genetic hybrids with an 'extinct' C. elephantopus parent -- and as many as 30 of them were a mere 15 years old. This is evidence, say researchers, that somewhere on the island, a handful of long thought dead tortoises may be living it up and making babies. From the...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/endangered-species/giant-tortoi...

Tweets

Hooray! Galapagos tortoise thought to be extinct ... isn't

Hooray! Galapagos tortoise thought to be extinc...

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Extinct tortoise in the #Galapagos may be back... according to genetic footprints found in offspring. #extinct

Extinct tortoise in the #Galapagos may be back....

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