• The giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands

    He was called Lonesome George and died without offspring in 2012 at the age of 100. This is the sad story of the most famous tortoise of the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador), whose slow-paced life took place under the gaze of many eyes, as he was the last example of the species. 

    The risk of extinction has always been a threat to the giant tortoises of the Galápagos since the discovery of the islands in the 16th century, resulting in the loss of several species. Today it is possible to say that hope is returning thanks to recovery policies, that means that the giant tortoise population in the Galápagos is now thriving with breeding in captivity. Strangely, the number of species has also just grown: with the discovery midway through 2015 of Chelonoidis donfaustoi, there are now 15 species of known (and living) giant tortoises in the Galápagos Islands.

    Galápagos giant tortoise

    As their name suggests, these unique tortoises are gigantic. Some of these titans surpass one and a half metres in length and weigh more than 250kg. Their adult life takes place at a slow and gentle rhythm. It is believed that they are the longest living vertebrates as they live for an average of 100 years, and the oldest known specimen died at the age of 152. Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution by natural selection after visiting the Galápagos Islands in 1865. Is it possible that one of the one of the baby tortoises from that period is still alive in some hidden zone of the Galápagos Islands? It would be improbable, but not impossible. Perhaps you will find it on your visit to these islands. Can you imagine?

    Baby turtles on the beach- Galápagos Islands

    The Galápagos Islands are a fascinating refuge for biodiversity, where you will find creatures that are exceptional and unique in the world. 

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