Lonely George, one-of-a-kind giant tortoise, might have fertilized eggs

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July 22, 2008 09:18

Lonesome George, the long-living Galapagos Islands giant tortoise thought to be the last of his kind, might soon be a father. The Galapagos National Park announced Monday that a female tortoise that has accompanied George since 1993 laid three intact eggs that are being cared for in an artificial incubator. The eggs have appeared "after 36 years of multiple efforts ... when we thought it was impossible for the tortoise known as Lonesome George to reproduce," the park said in a statement. The female belongs to the closest existing phenotype to that of George. Found in 1972 on Pinta island, George is estimated to be in his 70s - middle age for a giant tortoise. It will take another 120 days to learn if the eggs are viable.


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