(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have discovered a new species of giant tortoise on the oldest island of the Galapagos archipelago, San Cristobal.
To date, 8 thousand turtles live on the island. Perhaps they are representatives of a new species, and not Chelonoidis chathamensis (a subspecies of the Galapagos tortoise), as previously thought.
As El Pais notes, scientists first came close to a new biological discovery in 2019. Then the experts conducted a census of turtles in San Cristobal.
They took tissue and blood samples from the animals and ran genetic tests. The results did not match the original data, which were obtained in 1906 by the California Academy of Sciences on the species of turtles on the island, studied from skeletons in caves.
“Through these analyzes, it was concluded that the species that is in San Cristobal has not yet been identified or has not yet been placed in a taxon [group in the classification],” said one of the researchers Danny Rueda.
According to him, the turtles of the coastal zone of San Cristobal had a different shell than turtles in the wet zone, the remains of which were analyzed by experts in the last century.
Since 1978, the Galapagos Islands have been considered a Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The archipelago has at least five active volcanoes per 138 thousand square meters. km of the marine reserve and almost 8 thousand square meters. km of ground park.
Earlier, on January 20, it was reported that a species of mayflies, new to science, turned out to be the only freshwater insect that has been identified so far, causing bioerosion of silicate rocks.
Insects live in the Bago River basin (central Myanmar) in places where the river breaks through rocky ridges composed of siltstones (a special kind of rock).
In a gorge with a rapid current and rapids, scientists discovered rocks, the surface of which was completely pitted with holes. Having separated a piece of siltstone slab, they found mayfly larvae inside the passages.
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