Lonesome George Not the Last of His Kind, After All? Photo- Pete Oxford

The tide may be turning for the rare subspecies of giant tortoise (helonoidis nigra abingdoni) thought to have gone extinct when its last known member, the beloved Lonesome George, died in June.

A new study by Yale University researchers reveals that DNA from George’s ancestors lives on—and that more of his kind may still be alive in a remote area of Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands. 

The population had been wiped out by human settlers, however, now in an area known as Volcano Wolf the researchers have identified 17 young hybrid descendants with C.n. abingdoni using genetic testing within a population of 1,667 tortoises. The presence of juveniles suggests that purebred specimens may exist on the island too, the researchers said. Read More