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The Origin of a Species

  • Henry Nicholls
Part of the Macmillan Science book series (MACSCI)

Abstract

Lonesome George’s enclosure is a grand affair, clearly designed for the crème de la tortoise crème. He (and his female co-habitees) have free rein over a comfortable area of the research station. There is plenty of vegetation in which George can find the privacy he evidently seeks, tree-like cacti, a shelter which he uses during the hot season and a large pool wherein he is free to bathe (should he wish to venture out into the open). And at some distance, his fans — the tourists — skirt respectfully around. They peer into the undergrowth, their cameras poised should they be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the world’s most famous giant tortoise.

Keywords

Indian Ocean Land Bridge Freak Wave Remote Island Continental Island 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes and sources

  1. George’s feeding routine: Roslyn Cameron, personal communication; Joe Flanagan, personal communication; see also ‘The story of Lonesome George’: www.darwinfoundation.org/Restoring/george.html
  2. ’such big tortoises that each could carry a man on top of himself’: de Berlanga (1535)Google Scholar
  3. Debate surrounding tortoise origins: Larson (2001)Google Scholar
  4. Beebe’s experiments with the Duncan Island tortoise: Beebe (1923, 1924)Google Scholar
  5. ‘In spite of frequent slipping it kept obstinately ahead …’: Beebe (1924)Google Scholar
  6. ‘After we had handled it a few times …’: Beebe (1924)Google Scholar
  7. ‘When placed in the water alongside the ship …’: Beebe (1923)Google Scholar
  8. ‘I could see the throat vibrate in breathing …’: Beebe (1924)Google Scholar
  9. ‘A week later this tortoise died without warning’: Beebe (1924)Google Scholar
  10. Albert Günther’s early ideas about tortoise origins: Günther (1875)Google Scholar
  11. George Baur’s thinking on tortoise origins: Baur (1889, 1890, 1891a, 1891b)Google Scholar
  12. ‘The Galápagos originated through subsidence …’: Baur (1891a)Google Scholar
  13. ‘All hands are anxious to leave as soon as possible …’: see Fritts and Fritts (1982)Google Scholar
  14. ‘They would occasionally stick their heads out of water …’: see Fritts and Fritts (1982)Google Scholar
  15. California Academy lose and then recover two tortoises from the ocean: see Fritts and Fritts (1982)Google Scholar
  16. ‘When they drift on island shores …’: Van Denburgh (1914)Google Scholar
  17. ‘We must rather adopt the view that the islands …’: Van Denburgh (1914)Google Scholar
  18. ‘may arrive, after a passage of several weeks, at the bay of an island …’: Lyell (1830)Google Scholar
  19. Colnett’s observation of driftwood: Colnett (1798)Google Scholar
  20. ‘driftwood, not the growth of these islands …’: Fitzroy (1839)Google Scholar
  21. ‘the seeds of 14/100 plants of any country …’: Darwin (1859)Google Scholar
  22. ‘I do not deny that there are many and grave difficulties …’: Darwin (1859)Google Scholar
  23. ‘I have not found a single instance …’: Darwin (1859)Google Scholar
  24. Mayotte island frogs: Vences et al. (2003)Google Scholar
  25. ‘I am in perfect agreement with Van Denburgh…’: Beebe (1924)Google Scholar
  26. ‘It is pertinent to inquire, why was it so little used?’: Townsend (1925a)Google Scholar
  27. ‘it is inconceivable that various forms of living flotsam …’: Townsend (1925a)Google Scholar
  28. ‘The ancestry of the island tortoises …’: Townsend (1925a)Google Scholar
  29. Yale analysis of tortoise origins: Caccone et al. (1999); Adalgisia Caccone, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  30. Dodo weight: Maddox (1993)Google Scholar
  31. Elephant bird size: Line (1994)Google Scholar
  32. Australian tiger snakes: Keogh et al. (2005); Scott Keogh, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  33. Haast’s eagle: Bunce et al. (2005)Google Scholar
  34. Goliath the giant tortoise: Gerlach (1998); Greg Moss, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  35. The case for floating giant tortoises: Pritchard (1979)Google Scholar
  36. Timeframe of giant tortoise evolution: Caccone et al. (1999); Beheregaray et al. (2004)Google Scholar
  37. Drowned islands: Christie et al. (1992)Google Scholar
  38. Iguana evolution: Wyles and Sarich (1984); Rassmann (1997)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Henry Nicholls 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Nicholls

There are no affiliations available

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