Author Topic: "Lonesome George" wasn't so lonely after all  (Read 683 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline nickiknack

  • I Find Your Lack of Ponies... Disturbing
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 6037
  • Gender: Female
"Lonesome George" wasn't so lonely after all
« on: November 21, 2012, 10:19:07 pm »
When Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island giant tortoise, died in June in the Galapagos, the world mourned the demise of a species. It appears, however, that George was not that lonely after all.
There are at least 17 tortoises on the Galapagos Islands that have similar genetic traits to George, including some that may be from his same genus, the Galapagos National Park said in a statement.
George’s June 24 death “does not represent the end of the Chelonoidis abingdonii species of Pinta Island giant tortoises,” the statement said

Research conducted with Yale University experts “identified nine females, three males and five youths with genes of the Pinta Island giant tortoise species,” the statement read.
Researchers analyzed more than 1,600 DNA samples taken in 2008 from tortoises living on the Wolf Volcano, on Isabella Island, to George’s DNA and samples taken from the Pinta tortoise museum.
The results means that there could be “additional hybrids on the Wolf Volcano, and even individuals on Pinta that could be pure,” the statement read

This made my day, so there seems to be some more left around.

Offline Sylvana

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1016
  • Gender: Female
Re: "Lonesome George" wasn't so lonely after all
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 01:35:28 am »
If these are hybrids, it still means that the species of the Pinta Island Giant tortoise is dead. However it does mean that at some point prior there was a split and these other tortoises from the wolf volcano share a common ancestor with lonesome George. Unless of course they do manage to find some pure Pinta island samples. I am thinking that would be unlikely.

This is really not all that unusual though, such separation of species is common, it is basically a core principle of evolution, along with the extinction of the ancestor species that was not as ideally suited to survive.