The giant tortoises on Galapagos were definitely one of the most amazing creatures on Earth and now rumor has it the extinct tortoise is brought back to life by scientists.
- Lonesome George, the last giant tortoise, died three years ago
- Turtles can live up to 150 years
- Scientists will create new species of giant tortoises
Tortoises are famous for living very long lives and the giants on Galapagos and Floreana Islands were even more impressive for their size which made them be a constant reminder of the existence of creatures such as dinosaurs.
But, just as dinosaurs, the giant tortoises slowly decreased in numbers until they became extinct about three years ago. More exactly, three years ago, the last of the giant tortoises, called Lonesome George has died.
Lonesome George lived on Pinta Island in Galapagos. On Floreana Island, this species of turtles seems to have been long extinct as the last record of them was made by Charles Darwin as he was the last scientist to see one of these turtles on Floreana.
Many species have become extinct over the years and many are constantly endangered. Extinction of a species is usually caused by the polluted environment, heavy illegal hunting or fishing or changes in the animal’s reproduction behavior.
However, the good and also strange news is that scientists believe they can bring back the giant tortoise species from both Floreana and Galapagos. No, they won’t bring George back to life, but they will use some methods to bring to life a copy of him. Of course, it would be very difficult to bring back an entire species only using Georges DNA.
Luckily, researchers have found a pretty big colony of tortoises on the Isabela Island. The island has an active volcano that is sheltering a large number of tortoises. Scientists have found these turtles while investigating the Galapagos Islands to see whether there are any more of these animals on the islands. It seems that what they found on Isabela is a species of tortoise closely linked to the one in Pinta Island. It is believed that sailors have displaced them in the past from Pinta to Isabela. It was confirmed that 17 of these tortoises carried DNA similar to Lonesome George’s. There were also others that presented DNA matching the DNA of Floreana turtles.
Although the exact original species cannot be revived, with the help of these findings, scientists hope that they will be able to create a species that has genes which are 95 percent the same as the extinct Galapagos tortoises.
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