Lonesome George dies but his subspecies genes survive

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Lonesome George dies but his subspecies genes survive

Post  Admin on Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:59 am

The rarest animal in the world is no more. Lonesome George, the last of the Pinta Island tortoises, was found dead on Sunday. But a small hope remains for his subspecies, as its genes have survived.

"He was an iconic animal for the Galápagos," says Robert Silbermann, chief executive of the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

"It's devastating to me," says Gisella Caccone of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, who has studied Galápagos giant tortoises for 20 years. "You develop a special bond."

According to the Galápagos National Park, an autopsy will try to determine why George died. He is thought to have been about 100 years old, but Galápagos giant tortoises can live twice that long. "I thought we had more time," Caccone says.

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