R.I.P. Lonesome George

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R.I.P. Lonesome George

Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
To all you nature-lovers among the Eden community, I decided to share a bit of sad news. Lonesome George, the last known member of a subspecies of Galapagos tortoise, died two days ago. He was thought to be over 100 years old. Though it's possible that there may be others of the same species still alive, at the moment the Pinta Island tortoise is considered to be extinct.

Probably counts as small news in the grand scheme of things, but I always kind of liked Lonesome George, even though I've only seen him in pictures and documentaries. I was sad to hear that he's gone, and it feels a little surreal to have an animal go extinct in my lifetime.
06/26/2012
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GONE! GONE!
I was sad to hear about it too.
06/26/2012
Errant Venture Errant Venture
I'm pretty sure there have been other animals to have died out within our lifetime. The golden frog, the Pyrenean Ibex and a type of dolphin come to mind.
06/26/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
How sad. I wonder if they can take genetic material from him and use it to keep the species from dying out?
06/26/2012
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
A part of me will always wonder what role humans played in his demise. 100+ may sound really old, but for that species, it wasn't.

Time Magazine's Newsfeed post on George highlighted that he wasn't the only species in danger of disappearing:

Despite his nickname, George, in some ways, was far from lonesome: He is part of a global family of animals who are among the last remaining representatives of their kind. Here are some of George’s most endangered relatives, as reported by National Geographic:

- Vaquita: A tiny dolphin that lives in the Gulf of Mexico and often drowns in fishing nets. 150 left
- Hirola: An antelope with lovely swirled horns that lives near the Kenya-Somalia border and is threatened by cattle farming and drought. 600 left
- Bonneted Bat: Florida’s largest bat was thought to be extinct until a small colony was found near Fort Myers in 2002. The 21-inch creature has lost most of the cliff crevices and tree cavities in which it lives. 100 left
- Grenada Dove: The pink-breasted Caribbean bird has been hunted to the brink of extinction by mongooses, cats and rats. 150 left
- White-headed Langur: These monkeys on Vietnam’s Cat Ba Island are used in traditional Chinese medicine and have now been fractured into a few small groups. 59 left
06/26/2012
hillys hillys
Thats so sad. I mean lots of animals go extinct all the time but its sad when one goes especially a tortoise
06/26/2012
Ansley Ansley
Aw, how sad! But, yeah...species become extinct all of the time. I typically don't get upset about these things as it's just another cog in the scheme of things - things disappear all of the time only for something new and better to come on the scene.
06/26/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Errant Venture
I'm pretty sure there have been other animals to have died out within our lifetime. The golden frog, the Pyrenean Ibex and a type of dolphin come to mind.
True, I guess it's just because I was more aware of poor George that makes it stand out for me.

I know it's inevitable that some species will become extinct (and really, all species eventually are replaced by others), but I still mourn them, anyway. It'll never be seen again, and it's sad to think of it.
06/26/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
I think that tortoises and turtles always bother me more because they live so long! On one hand, there can't be new species unless others die out and leave room for them... On the other hand, I feel like if you live to be like 200 your species has the right to live! I know that's not how it works, I just really like reptiles.
06/26/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Petite Valentine
A part of me will always wonder what role humans played in his demise. 100+ may sound really old, but for that species, it wasn't.

Time Magazine's Newsfeed post on George highlighted that he wasn't the only species in danger of ...
I once watched an entire documentary once about species that were the last of their kind (or almost the last). So depressing. Lonesome George always stuck out for me because the others all had better chances (like there was one male and female left, for example).

And he was probably way older. There's a necropsy planned, but right now they're thinking he might have simply died of old age (specifically, of heart failure, which is considered normal at the end of tortoises' life cycles).
06/26/2012
pirkit pirkit
That's sad. At least he had a long life.
06/26/2012
Errant Venture Errant Venture
I vaguely recall hearing the fact the giant tortoises were incredibly tasty, and so that had something to do with their rapid decline in numbers. I'll have to check that.

EDIT: link
06/27/2012
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by Rin (aka Nire)
To all you nature-lovers among the Eden community, I decided to share a bit of sad news. Lonesome George, the last known member of a subspecies of Galapagos tortoise, died two days ago. He was thought to be over 100 years old. Though it's ...
How tragic. Yes, extinctions occurred long before man, and may long after we are gone, but as with the loss of any diversity of life...it is a bit sad.
06/27/2012
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Unique posters: 10