Researchers have confirmed that this species of giant tortoise thought to be extinct is still around after all. They located a 50-year-old female giant tortoise on Fernandina Island in the Galapagos archipelago. The female tortoise known as the fantastic giant tortoise was found on the volcanic island in 2019 by Galapagos National Park rangers and a TV crew.
Evelyn Jensen, a lecturer in molecular ecology at Newcastle University said “It was such a shock. There had been rumours over the decades that perhaps there were still some tortoises on Fernandina Island, but there was sort of tenuous evidence at best,”
Jensen is part of an international research team that sequenced the tortoise’s genome. The sequencing found a link to a male tortoise found on the island in 1906 and the two tortoises are distinct from all others in the Galapagos.
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