Baby Tortoises Show Up In The Galapagos For The First Time In Over A Century

 There hadn’t been one single baby tortoise sighting in more than a century on the Galapagos Island of Pinzon, until a small group of the tiny, shelled youngsters were spotted this year.

The recent births are helping to pull the critically endangered animals back from the brink of extinction after they were nearly laid to waste as a result of human activity.

This is huge news for a species that has been struggling to survive for a century, relying on humans raising young tortoises bred in captivity until they are large enough to not fall prey to rats and predators.


The heartwarming moment when two waved albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) lovers recognise each other and reunite after much time apart.

This albatross is unique in being the largest bird in the Galapagos Islands, and the only albatross species found entirely within the tropics. Waved albatross mate for life; a relationship that starts with an elaborate courtship ritual. This routine is a precise sequence of moves, which includes rapidly circling and bowing their bills, clacking their beaks together and raising their bills skyward whilst letting out a “whoo-ooo” call.

Presumably monogamy evolved in situations where young have a much better chance of surviving if both parents cooperate in rearing them. Nonetheless, the amount of time and energy invested by monogamous male parents varies greatly. By the way, 90 percent of all bird species are monogamous.

Diego the 100-year-old Tortoise was once part of a critically endangered species. 50 years ago, there were only 2 male and 12 female Galapagos giant tortoises on Espanola, the only island where they live in the wild. Since ecologists moved Diego to a breeding center, he’s fathered around 800 offspring- almost 40% of the tortoises living on Espanola- and helped save his species from facing extinction. Source

Who can resist this face?!

Asio flammeus galapagoensis | ©Sebastián Padrón   (Galapagos islands)

Asio flammeus galapagoensis, commonly known as the Galapagos Short-eared Owl and Short-eared Owl, is one of the ten recognized subspecies of Short-eared owl, which vary in terms of location and coloration. Perhaps the most distinctive of these subspecies is Asio flammeus galapagoensis, which has extremely dark plumage and larger black regions around the eyes [source].

As its common name suggests, the Galapagos Short-eared Owl is only found in the Galapagos islands.

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When 120 years old you reach, look as good you will not. Augustus the Galapagos tortoise arrived here in 1933, and is thought to be about 90-120 years old. The maximum lifespan of the Galapagos tortoise is unknown, but is estimated to be about 200 years.


More than 20,000 species of plants and animals around the world are currently under threat of extinction, and hundreds vanish each year. We don’t always know the exact time of extinction, but for the Pinta Island giant tortoise, the date was June 24, 2012.

On that day, Lonesome George—the Galapagos Island tortoise now on display at the American Museum of Natural History, and the last known member of his species—died of natural causes. With him, his species, Chelonoidis abingdoni, vanished.

Over the last two years, Wildlife Preservations taxidermy experts have worked closely with Museum scientists to preserve Lonesome George as he appeared in life—down to a missing toenail on his left front foot.

Watch a video about the preservation process, and learn much more about Lonesome George
Sex-mad Galapagos tortoise saves his species from extinction
A sex-mad tortoise which is over 100 years old has single-handedly saved his species from extinction. Diego has fathered 800 babies over the years on Espanola in the Galapagos Islands.

A sex-mad tortoise which is over 100 years old has single-handedly saved his species from extinction. Diego has fathered 800 babies over the years, turning the tide for his species on the island of Espanola in the Galapagos islands, off the coast of South America.

‘He’s a very sexually active male reproducer. He’s contributed enormously to repopulating the island,’ said Washington Tapia, a tortoise preservation specialist at Galapagos National Park…