Scientists have made an astonishing announcement today, saying that they may be able to bring the extinct Pinta tortoise back from the dead!
When the last of the Pintas, ‘Lonesome George,’ died in 2012 it was thought that the species had left the earth forever.
Many efforts were made to save the species of tortoise that inhabited the Galapagos Islands, but unfortunately George died before they found any success.
There is a new lease of hope however, as scientists believe that another species of tortoise could help to revive the awesome archaic beasts!
Discovered in the 1970’s, George died at the ripe age of 102 after numerous unsuccessful breeding attempts.
It seems that when one species of tortoise dies, another one miraculously appears however.
A new species, known as Chelonoidis donfaustoi, has been found on the island - and they could be the answer to bringing back to Pintas!
When scientists collected blood samples from 1,600 tortoises, a whopping 90% of the animals were found to have DNA that matched George’s species.
Using this, scientists now plan literally create more Pinta tortoises.
Examining the DNA from each animal, they will pinpoint the similarities to the Pinta species, breed from the tortoises and bingo! You have a brand new Pinta tortoise.
As if this wasn’t exciting enough, it is believed that the Pinta tortoise could have environmental benefits for the future. They help to disperse seeds and nutrients, which will help with the general ecology of the Galápagos.
We have our fingers crossed for a new breed of Pintas to enter the world! Should we expect to see a Dodo or a Woolly Mammoth anytime soon?