2012-07-02. A Giant Tortoise's Death Gives Extinction a Face

posted Jul 10, 2012, 11:06 AM by Lisa Ou
| by Carl Hulse, The NY Times. An article relevant to GSS Population Growth chapter 3 and Losing Biodiversity chapter 3. Excerpt: George, the last giant tortoise of his subspecies in this archipelago, was found dead in his corral at the Charles Darwin Research Station here the morning of June 24 — to the shock of his devoted caretakers, who had hoped he would survive for decades to continue his line…The Galápagos is home to other types of giant tortoises, though their numbers remain low and their populations vulnerable…“We were expecting to have George another 50 years,” he said as he stood before the pen, which houses a heart-shaped pool in which the tortoise’s caretakers had hoped to entice him to produce an heir with two biologically close female tortoises who remain. “It feels kind of empty.” George’s death was a singular moment, representing the extinction of a creature right before human eyes — not dinosaurs wiped out eons ago or animals consigned to oblivion by hunters who assumed there would always be more…. Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/science/death-of-lonesome-george-the-tortoise-gives-extinction-a-face.html