Hirunews Logo
New+species+of+giant+tortoise+discovered+in+Galapagos
Thursday, 22 October 2015 - 13:29
New species of giant tortoise discovered in Galapagos
39

Shares
4,696

Views

Scientists say they have identified a new species of giant tortoise on the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific.

They used genetic data to determine that a group of 250 slow-moving reptiles was distinct from another tortoise species on Santa Cruz island.

It is the 15th known tortoise species to be discovered on the archipelago, though four are now extinct.

The new species has been named "Chelonoidis donfaustoi", after a retired Galapagos park ranger.

Giant tortoises in the Galapagos tend to weigh up to 250kg and live longer than 100 years.

The newly-identified species, which is also known as the Eastern Santa Cruz tortoise, lives on the eastern side of the island and was also found to be genetically different from tortoises on other islands.

Yale University biologist Gisella Caccione, who led the team of scientists, said the shell of the tortoises had a more compressed shape than other species.

Scientists and conservationists are hoping the discovery will help to protect and restore the tortoise, which is considered vulnerable, with an estimated population of 250.

There are believed to be more than 2,000 tortoises of other tortoise species living elsewhere on the island.

Giant tortoises were among some of the well-known creatures studied closely by British naturalist Charles Darwin in the Galapagos Islands in the 1830s.

Make a Comment
Make a Comment

DOWNLOAD HIRUNEWS APP ON ANDROID & APPLE
Heavy snow across the globe
Friday, 13 January 2017 - 9:29
Many countries are experiencing heavy snow, foreign media states. The temperature in England, Scotland, North Ireland and Wales has hit minus 10 degrees... Read More
News Image
Hiru News Programme Segments
729 Views
1,154 Views
2,284 Views
1,815 Views
10,285 Views
44,666 Views
Top