World's oldest dad may no longer be lonesome
Last known giant tortoise decides it's time to mate.
Mon, Jul 27 2009 at 8:00 AM
It looks like the famous Galapagos giant tortoise nicknamed Lonesome George could soon be a dad. Lonesome George, believed to be the last of his species, has finally decided -- at the ripe age of 90-100 years old -- that now is the perfect time to mate.
George was discovered in 1972. For decades, he had shown little interest in reproducing but, in his 90s, scientists believe George has hit his sexual prime. One of the two female tortoises kept with George since 1993 recently laid five eggs in "perfect condition," the Galapagos National Park said in a statement Tuesday. Now researchers must wait for the incubation period of 120 days to find out whether the eggs are fertile.
Lonesome George is the only known living Geochelone abigdoni tortoise, a species native to Pinta Island in the Galapagos chain. His companions are of a similar species. If this mating is successful, George will officially be the world's oldest dad of any living species. And he won't be so lonesome anymore.
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