An Ecuadorian Hero Lost at 140 years

George in February

photo cred: Katie Schleit

Good Bye Lonesome George.

I got to meet Lonesome George briefly in The Galapagos in February.  He was very handsome, for a giant tortoise, and he was the last of his kind.  Every island in the Galapagos has a different, unique, subspecies of tortoise-differences that contributed to Darwin’s theory of evolution- but George was the only one to have survived poaching and hunting on the island of Pinta.   Researches never succeeded at getting him to mate with female tortoises from other islands.  So with his death a subspecies was lost.   Perhaps the loss will call attention to  the fragility of precious eco-systems like the Galapagos.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/science/death-of-lonesome-george-the-tortoise-gives-extinction-a-face.html?ref=science

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