George “Solitário” não era o último

Descobertos possíveis parente de “George”

A famosa tartaruga gigante das Ilhas Galápagos, George o “solitário” que faleceu em junho de ataque cardíaco, era considerada o último membro de sua espécie. A tartaruga que ficou conhecida  como a “inspiração” para o cientista inglês Charles Darwin escrever seu livro, A evolução das Espécies, não aceitava nenhuma companheira.

Os especialistas tentaram por anos, sem sucesso, acasalar George com fêmeas de sub-espécies de tartarugas gigantes de outras ilhas da região de Galápagos, por isso o apelido de “solitário”.

Agora o Ministério do Meio Ambiente do Equador, em Quito, anunciou terem encontrados 17 tartarugas gigantes da mesma espécie dele. Pesquisadores do Parque Nacional de Galápagos e especialistas da Universidade americana de Yale coletaram e analisaram cerca de 1600 amostras de tecidos de diversas sub-especies de tartarugas gigantes das ilhas.

O anúncio da descoberta de nove fêmeas, três machos e cinco filhotes na ilha de Isabela mostra se tratar de descendentes diretos da ilha de Pinta, local original de George.

Fonte: Der Spiegel

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