Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chelonoidis donfaustoi, New Tortoise Species Form The Galapagos

Description of a New Galapagos Giant Tortoise Species (Chelonoidis; Testudines: Testudinidae) from Cerro Fatal on Santa Cruz Island. 2015. PLoS One

Scientists have discivered that the two giant tortoise populations on the Santa Cruz island are genetically different species. The researchers 'baptized' [as the press release states] the new species Chelonoidis donfaustoi, in honor of Fausto Llerena, the caretaker of Lonesome George, a male Pinta Island tortoise and the last known survivor of his species.

The skull of the museum specimen UWZS 32700, holotype for Chelonoidis sp. nov. from Cerro Fatal in Santa Cruz