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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Dec 16 12:19 AM

December 16th, 2015: Tortoises

Tortoises, the family Testudinidae, in the order Testudines. Yeah those guys.
More specifically Galapagos Tortoises that Darwin made famous, by bringing a couple back to England, after eating most of what they caught. Ships found the Galapagos Islands a good stop for a supply of Tortoises which were easy to keep on board until they were eaten, and a good place to post/retrieve mail. But the ships brought rats which gobbled up Tortoise eggs and young.


As a result, on the Galapagos island of Pinzon, no baby Tortoises have been seen for over 100 years. People have been raising Tortoises until they were old enough to fight the rats, teaching them kickboxing, and freeing them on Pinzon. They estimated in the 60s there were 100 left, but after a recent campaign to exterminate the rats by the park service, this year's survey saw babies, 10 new hatchlings, plus counted 300 adults, and they estimate the population to be 500.


Woo Hoo, a baby boom on Pinzon.

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