galapagos

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He is over 100 years old, weighs about 175 pounds, is nearly 35 inches long, five feet tall, and the ladies love him. His name is Diego. Diego the Chelonoidis hoodensis Galapagos giant tortoise.



According to Washington Tapia, a tortoise preservation specialist at Galapagos National Park, Diego "has fathered an estimated 800 offspring, almost single-handedly rebuilding the species' population--and saving it from extinction--on their native island, Espanola, the southernmost in the Galapagos Archipelago."

"Around 50 years ago, there were only two males and 12 females of Diego's species alive on Espanola, and they were too spread out to reproduce."

Six years ago, they did a genetic study and discovered that Diego was the father of nearly 40 percent of the offspring released into the wild on Espanola, thereby doing more parenting than any other turtle to repopulate the species.





"He's a very sexually active male reproducer. He's contributed enormously to repopulating the island," said Tapia.




"Rawr, damn straight," replied Diego.



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If you had full access to one of the most diverse islands in the world for a day, where would you start exploring? After capturing the Galapagos Islands with Street View, Google has launched the website Darwin for a Day where people can virtually investigate its vast native plant and animal life. Users are also encourage to document what they find, and the data will be collected by iNaturalist and the Charles Darwin Foundation for further research.