One of the oldest creatures on Earth, turtles and tortoises have been around in some form or another for over 200 million years. Yet, their hatchlings are severely threatened by climate change, to which these long-lived creatures have proven slow to adapt. While many species hibernate during the winter, others take long, fascinating migration treks. However you slice it, practically all species need our protection.
But perhaps the most famous of all tortoises, the Giant Galapagos Tortoise, has been extinct since the time of Charles Darwin. At least, it was thought to be, until just now!
Through analysis of the DNA of a tortoise found on a different island, several miles from its indigenous island, the Galapagos-only species, Chelonoidis Elephantopus, may have just popped off of the extinct list thanks to what one sources calls, “The ultimate paternity test.” A hybrid tortoise, where one of the parents was the previously-extinct C. Elephantopus, has just been found, making it the (previously) extinct tortoise’s only known descendent! Come read all about this fascinating development, and all the latest news about turtles and tortoises, in our newest science trap: the Turtles trap!