Scientists Find a Living Galápagos Tortoise, Thought to Be Extinct

Scientists Find a Living Galápagos Tortoise, Thought To Be Extinct

Scientists Make SHOCKING Discovery — Everyone Thought This Animal Was Extinct

( – Typically, people hear of species going extinct more often than the discovery of a new species. But, even rarer than either of those is hearing about a once-extinct animal discovered alive and well. Scientists at Princeton University just confirmed such a discovery was recently made on Fernandina Island in the Galápagos.

In 2019, scientists first discovered Fernanda, a female giant tortoise believed to be around 50 years old, on Fernandina Island. However, scientists were unsure whether she was native to the island or if she had floated to it from one nearby. So, they sequenced her genome to compare it to 13 other species of Galápagos tortoises to determine where she was likely born.

This month, Princeton finally announced Fernanda was, in fact, native to Fernandina Island and closely matched the DNA of a male Fernandina Island Galápagos giant tortoise discovered in 1906. While she’s missing a distinct saddleback feature found on males of her species, she is officially confirmed to be part of the same species, commonly called the “fantastic giant tortoise.”

Fernanda now lives on Santa Cruz Island at the Galápagos National Park’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, where she’s protected and could hopefully one day breed if a male of her particular species appears.

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