New Species of Giant Tortoise Identified

  • Scientists identified a new species of giant tortoise on the Galapagos Islands.
  • Research differentiates the new Eastern Santa Cruz from the western population through genetic data analysis.
  • New species named Chelonoidis donfaustoi while the older ones belong to Chelonoidis porteri.
  • Apart from genetic differences, the two species differ in the shape of their shell and the new species lives on drier land in a 40 sq. km. area of Santa Cruz Island.


  • Giant tortoises are famous creatures of Galapagos Islands weighing about 225 kgs.
  • Apart from Galapagos Islands, they are also found only in Aldabra Atoll in Seychelles and number to about 13 species in all.
  • Earlier research categorized the Eastern Santa Cruz under one species owing to stark similarities physically with its western counterpart.

News Item Compiled by Adarsh Mohandas


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