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Tuesday, August 16, 2011


"Lonesome George"

But who is Lonesome George you say?  

He is the world’s rarest creature and the only surviving member of the Pinta Island Tortoise (Geochelone nigra abingdoni). These species of giant tortoise is endemic to Galapagos Islands.  First spotted in 1971, Lonesome George is about a hundred years old and could have at least 50 years ahead of him. For several years, attempts were initiated at mating him with females of other species but were all unsuccessful. Perhaps, all Lonesome George needs is a female of the same subspecies.

Good news greeted Lonesome George early January 2011, scientist are bringing in to the island two hood island giant tortoise (Geochelone hoodensis) females. The two potential mates arrived on Santa Cruz island, where George lives.
Genetic studies conducted by Yale University have shown that the newly arrived tortoises "are genetically closer ... more compatible, and could offer greater possibilities of producing offspring," the park's statement said.

The Galapagos island chain, about 620 miles (1,000 kms) off Ecuador's coast, is home to unique animal species that inspired Charles Darwin's ideas on evolutionThey believe that this subspecies having near genetic similarities with George will produce positive results.


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