Monday, April 30, 2007

Lauren's New and Hot (Week 5)

Scientists seek Lonesome George's tortoise kin

Lonesome George is a Galapagos tortoise from the island of Pinta, and for years researchers thought that he was the last of his species. Found in 1972, he lives on a research station on Santa Cruz (another island in the Galapagos). Researchers have attempted to convince him to mate with females of a similar species from the island Isabela, but so far have had no luck. They have gone so far as to bring in younger male tortoises of the same species as the females to demonstrate, but George did not take the hint. At 70 years of age, he is still young enough that there is hope, provided that researchers come up with an idea that actually works.

Things are looking up for George, however, because a tortoise has been found whose father belongs to George's species. This means that unless he has died, there is another male tortoise of George's species on Isabela. Since this male exists (or existed), researchers now hope that there may be others that simply have yet to be found.

On a tangential note, I was amused to find that my BIOSCI 43 (third quarter of BIO core) lecture last Friday seemed to be an extremely abbreviated version of this course. For the introductory lecture on evolution, we learned about Darwin's voyage and how Wallace inadvertently pushed him to publish The Origin of Species.

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