Giant Galápagos Tortoise Believed Extinct for Over 100 Years Spotted
She was living on the Galápagos island of Fernandina.
A living member of the Chelonoidis phantasticus species of tortoise featured extinct and not seen in 113 years was recently spotted in a remote part of the Galápagos island of Fernandina.
The adult female, also known as the Fernandina giant tortoise, revealed herself on Sunday to a joint expedition of the Galápagos National Park and the U.S.-based Galapagos Conservancy scientists, The Guardian reported.
The research teams are hoping that the lone turtle is a sign that others have survived right under their noses as well and that the tracks and feces they discovered aren’t specific to her alone. The team took the ancient creature, which is probably more than 100 years old, to a breeding center for giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island, in Ecuador, where it will stay in a specially designed pen.
The last known living member of her family was found in 1906 and since then, only one unconfirmed sighting in 2009.
“They will need more than one, but females may store sperm for a long time,” said Stuart Pimm, a professor of conservation ecology at Duke University. “There may be hope.”
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