Chelonoidis phantasticus is a giant tortoise species believed to be extinct for more than a century. Now, a surviving member has been identified.
GS III- Environment And Ecology
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Chelonoidis phantasticus:
- Habitat and Distribution
- IUCN Status
About Chelonoidis phantasticus:
- A giant tortoise, found alive in 2019, has been confirmed to belong a Galápagos species long believed extinct.
- Named Fernanda after her Fernandina Island home, the tortoise is the first of her species, Chelonoidis phantasticus, to be identified in more than a century.
- Researchers has reported the confirmation in a paper in Nature Comunications Biology.
- Chelonoidis phantasticus means “fantastic giant tortoise”.
- Commonly called the Fernandina Island Galápagos giant tortoise, the species was so far known only from a single individual, collected in 1906.
Habitat and Distribution
- Chelonoidis phantasticus is a saddle backed tortoise adapted for browsing on higher vegetation such as Opuntia trees.
- Fernandina habitat is largely dry xeric brushland at lower elevations, but much of that habitat has been destroyed by extensive recent lava flows.
- The small area of remaining higher-quality habitat is mesic and at higher elevations.
- Chelonoidis phantasticus is listed as Critically Endangered
-Source: Indian Express