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Celebrating Darwin and the Darwin Research Station in Galápagos

Charles Darwin--portrait by George Richmond, 1840

158 years ago, Darwin began writing On the Origin of Species, a work that would change the world. 50 years ago, the Darwin Research Station was dedicated on Santa Cruz Island. As people mark those anniversaries, the Galápagos grapples with some issues he raised back in the 19th centrury. Continue Reading →

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72 Galapágos New Year’s Babies

Newly hatched baby tortoises at the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Center

OK, so they’re technically not New Year’s babies because they were hatched in the waning days of 2013. But as 2014 dawns, there is cause for celebrating at the Galápagos National Park’s Fausto Llerena Tortise Center.
What has scientists excited is that 14 of the 72 baby tortoises hatched there in November and December are carrying partial DNA of the original Floreana Island tortoises that have been extinct since the mid-1800’s. This raises the hope that tortoises with genes similar to the original species can be restored to the island. (TO READ MORE, CLICK ON THE HEADLINE ABOVE.) Continue Reading →

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Body of iconic tortoise, “Lonesome George,” to NY for embalming.

lgeorge

The following is a press release from the Galápagos National Park:

Lonesome George body is moved to New York today to be embalmed
The American Museum of Natural History in New York will do the taxidermy process of the emblematic chelonian. A specialized company will keep the chelonian up to the flight to New York. The Galapagos National Park Directorate, began today at noon, on a flight of TAME, the body moved Lonesome George from Baltra to Guayaquil, where he kept in a cold chamber, until approximately 23:00 ET following then with LAN and will fly to the city of New York, United States. This tour will be trajectory of the iconic turtle from the place where he remained since his death, to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the site where specialists will perform the taxidermy process (embalming). After the autopsy that was performed on Lonesome George’s body was specially done to protect and to prevent freezing burn on the tissues and was maintained at least -50 °C until the time came to transfer him. Continue Reading →

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