Galapagos Islands

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After Siring Hundreds, Dirty Old Man Goes Home

Farewell, Diego, lots and lots of female tortoises knew ye

(Newser) - He has what the BBC calls a "species-saving sex drive," and after having fathered up to 800 offspring in the pursuit of bringing his species back from the brink, Diego the Galapagos tortoise is headed back home to the island of Española. There, he'll join a... More »

'Illegal and Dangerous': Oil Spill in the Galapagos

Crane falls on vessel, causing boat to tip, oil to seep into water off of San Cristobal Island

(Newser) - CNN notes that environmentalists are likely to be fuming after an accident in the Galapagos Islands over the weekend that dumped 600 gallons of oil into the water. The spill happened early Sunday as a crane was lowering a container onto a cargo vessel on San Cristobal Island, lost... More »

Tortoise Not Seen in 110 Years Found on Galapagos Island

'There may be hope' for critically endangered species

(Newser) - A living member of a species of tortoise not seen in more than 110 years and feared to be extinct has been found in a remote part of the Galapagos island of Fernandina, the AP reports. An adult female Chelonoidis phantasticus, also known as the Fernandina Giant Tortoise, was spotted... More »

5 Places You Shouldn't Visit in 2018

Maybe hold off on that Taj Mahal trip till 2019

(Newser) - At the beginning of each calendar year, travel companies and publications often push out lists of places around the world you should try to explore in the coming months. Fodor's takes a different tack with its "No List," detailing the locations it thinks you should avoid in... More »

A Stranger Arrives. Just 2 Generations Later: A New Species

'Evolution in general can happen very quickly'

(Newser) - After four decades of work, researchers published the origin of Big Bird (not that one ) in Science this week—and it's scientifically unprecedented. The BBC reports that for the first time ever, researchers were able to watch the rise of a new species play out in nature. "... More »

Found in Galapagos Reserve: Boat Carrying 6K Dead Sharks

20 Chinese crew members face jail time, fines

(Newser) - Crew members aboard a Chinese-flagged ship in the Galapagos Islands have been handed almost $6 million in fines plus jail time after what Quartz calls "likely one of the biggest seizures of illegal sharks in recent years." Investigators boarded the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 in the Galapagos... More »

The Savior of the Galapagos Tortoise Is a Dirty, Dirty Old Man

Meet Diego, the centenarian father of, like, 800

(Newser) - The most tireless and passionate proponent of saving the Galapagos tortoise from extinction is ancient, lecherous, and not particularly attractive, but those attributes are apparently a big hit with the ladies. Gentle reader, meet Diego, the lusty 100-plus-year-old tortoise who has helped bring his kind back from the brink of... More »

Charles Darwin's Finches Could Soon Be Extinct

'This is like a really bad horror flick'

(Newser) - Charles Darwin's finches of the Galapagos Islands—renowned as a poster child for speciation (that's "the process by which new species arise," explains Smithsonian )—may not be able to evolve fast enough to stave off extinction, according to a study published last week in the... More »

Galapagos Volcano Erupts, Threatens Rare Iguanas

Officials hope unique pink iguanas 'will not be affected'

(Newser) - Wolf Volcano on the Galapagos Islands rumbled to life yesterday for the first time in 33 years, sending smoke billowing into the air and lava spewing down onto Isabela Island. As the nearest inhabitants live about 70 miles away from the volcano, there is no risk to humans, reports AFP... More »

In Galapagos Islands, a 180-Day State of Emergency

Freighter has run aground in Shipwreck Bay

(Newser) - Those darn freighters : Ecuador has again declared a state of emergency in the protected Galapagos Islands after a cargo ship carrying 13,000 gallons of fuel ran aground last week. No fuel was spilled, and about 85% of it has since been removed. "There is no kind of environmental... More »

Giant Galapagos Tortoises Back From 'Brink of Extinction'

'Miraculous' recovery for population that was down to 15 in 1960s

(Newser) - A welcome piece of news for an endangered species: Giant tortoises' population on the Galapagos island of Española is now "very secure," researchers say. "The global population was down to just 15 tortoises by the 1960s. Now there are some 1,000 tortoises breeding on their... More »

Galapagos Threat 'Could Unleash a Disaster'

Ecuador declares emergency over stranded freighter

(Newser) - A new threat to the Galapagos Islands "could unleash a disaster," say officials: a cargo ship. At Galapagos officials' urging, Ecuador (which owns the islands) yesterday declared an environmental emergency there after a ship ran aground last Friday. The 19,000 gallons of cargo fuel the Galapaface 1... More »

How Cotton Balls Helped Save Darwin's Finches

The birds used the treated cotton balls in their nests

(Newser) - Serious problem, simple fix. Researchers on the Galapagos Islands have helped Darwin's finches protect their nests from a dangerous new parasite, reports Scientific American . The simple fix: Scientists left cotton balls laced with a mild pesticide for the birds to take, and the finches happily wove them into their... More »

Couple Unveils True-Crime Mystery in Galapagos Affair

Filmmakers investigate murder story on famous islands

(Newser) - A pair of married San Francisco filmmakers stumbled on an unexpected mystery at the Galapagos Islands—and it had nothing to do with Darwin, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller were visiting for a film project when they read about a German philosopher and his mistress... More »

Bezos Airlifted Out of Galapagos

Amazon founder hit by kidney stones on New Year's vacation

(Newser) - Jeff Bezos has a rating for his New Year's Day 2014: "Galapagos: five stars. Kidney stones: zero stars," the Amazon founder says in a statement, addressing reports that he had to be airlifted off a cruise ship by the Ecuadorian navy on the first of the year... More »

Coming to Google Street View: Galapagos Islands

Google captures panoramic views of remote and inaccessible areas

(Newser) - If you've ever wished you could visit the Galapagos Islands, you'll soon get the chance to see the remote volcanic islands from the comfort of your own home. Google sent hikers to the area complete with Street View gear to capture panoramic views of even the most inaccessible... More »

Lonesome George Dead at 100

George thought to be last Pinta Island giant tortoise

(Newser) - The Galapagos giant tortoise nicknamed Lonesome George, the last of the giant Pinta Island tortoise subspecies, has died, reports CBS News . He was believed to be about 100 years old, relatively young for a species that can live up to 200 years. Scientists had tried to get George to mate... More »

Tortoises Break Up —After a Century Together

Bibi finally got sick of Poldi

(Newser) - They were together as a couple for more than a century until out of the blue, Bibi and Poldi—two giant Galápagos tortoises who live in an Austrian zoo—broke off their relationship. The split was anything but cordial, reports Der Spiegel . A belligerent Bibi bit off part of... More »

'Extinct' Galapagos Tortoise Still Alive

DNA shows that species thought wiped out in 1840s is on different island

(Newser) - Scientists have located survivors of a giant Galapagos tortoise species thought to have gone extinct back in the 1840s. Researchers testing the DNA of 1,600 tortoises on Isabela Island in the Galapagos discovered that at least 84 were offspring of a species that originally lived on nearby Floreana Island,... More »

Last Tortoise of His Kind Needs a Date

Scientists struggle to find mate for 'Lonesome George'

(Newser) - When you’re the only known member of your species, romance is hard to find. Such is the case for Lonesome George, the last Pinta tortoise in the Galapagos. Since George’s discovery in 1971—at a time when his species was believed to be extinct—scientists have searched far... More »

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