Conservationists on the Galápagos Islands have discovered 30 giant tortoises partially descended from two extinct species, including that of the Lonesome George. If you can’t recall, Lonesome George was a famous giant tortoise that was over 100 years old and was the last of the Chelonoidis Abingdon species of Pinta island before passing away in 2012.
But now conservationists are discovering that the lost species of Lonesome George lives on partially in a number of giant tortoises that live on a different island and that were probably brought there by pirates or whalers.
It’s fascinating to see the role that the Galápagos continues to play in our understanding of evolution ever since Charles Darwin arrived there hundreds of years ago. According to the Galapagos Conservancy, an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 wild tortoises live on the islands today, which once held 15 closely related species of tortoise.