Archive
2014
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
2013
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2012
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2011
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2010
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2009
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2008
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2007
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2006
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Jun. 26, 2012

So Long, Lonesome George

by Annette Heist

Click to enlarge images
Lonesome George, the last tortoise of his kind, died Sunday in his enclosure in the Galápagos, off Ecuador's coast. Biologists estimated that George was about 100 years old--relatively young for a giant tortoise.
 
According to the Associated Press an autopsy of George is underway, although his keepers think he may have suffered a heart attack.
 
George was the last of the Pinta Island giant tortoise subspecies Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni; the subspecies is thought to date back ten million years. Repeated attempts to mate George with closely-related females failed, and George became a sad symbol of biodiversity loss.
 
Do you have a photo of Lonesome George to share? Send it to photos@sciencefriday.com. We'll post the best ones here and on our Facebook page. (Click on the slide show above to see listener-submitted shots.)
 
And tune in to the show this week to learn more about the life of Lonesome George.

 

About Annette Heist

Annette Heist is a former senior producer for Science Friday.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

topics