SEP 26, 2016 7:33 AM PDT

Diego the Giant Tortoise Has Fathered Well Over 800 Offspring

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The giant tortoise is an icon for conservation on the Galapagos Islands. They can get really big, but their population numbers aren’t the best at this point in time, but they are making a comeback.
 

Diego has proven to be very smooth with the ladies, having helped his species reproduce enough to prevent extinction.

 Image Credit: AFP / by Santiago Piedra Silva

One specific 100-year-old giant tortoise who goes by the name of Diego has reportedly contributed a ton to helping his species multiply, and he did it by being smooth with the ladies.
 
Despite being over 175 pounds and nearly 5 feet fall, he has managed to get around enough to find the female mates necessary to reproduce. Other males in the region have been too spaced out to find mates to reproduce with other females.
 
Diego has successfully fathered more than 800 offspring in his lifetime, a number that is sure to help his species quite a bit. You could say he’s the natural answer to conservation efforts. He’s done several times more work to save his species from extinction than any other males in the region have, so he should get a medal for his talent.
 
The old-timer is still alive and well today on Espanola, an island of the Galapagos Archipelago. His species, Chelonoidis hoodensis, is unique to the area and can’t be found in the wild anywhere else in the world.
 
"He's a very sexually active male reproducer. He's contributed enormously to repopulating the island," Washington Tapia, a tortoise preservation specialist at the Galapagos National Park, said in a statement to AFP News.
 
Part of his life was spent at the San Diego Zoo in the United States, although the time he arrived there is very much unknown. We do know, however, that Diego was transferred back to the Galapagos in 1976 under the captive breeding program to help with dwindling numbers.
 
"We did a genetic study and we discovered that he was the father of nearly 40 percent of the offspring released into the wild on Espanola," Tapia said. "I wouldn't say (the species) is in perfect health, because historical records show there probably used to be more than 5,000 tortoises on the island. But it's a population that's in pretty good shape -- and growing, which is the most important,"

Diego’s species is no longer endangered thanks to the captive breeding program, but we have Diego to thank for this success.
 
On the other hand, there are 15 major species of the giant tortoise in the Galapagos, and three of them have already went extinct, so the threat still continues for other species.
 
Source: AFP News via Phys.org

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAY 12, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Precipitation helped drive distribution of Alaska dinosaurs
MAY 12, 2022
Precipitation helped drive distribution of Alaska dinosaurs
Dinosaurs are fascinating creatures, and everyone has their favorite one, most notably the Tyrannosaurus Rex, rightfully ...
MAY 11, 2022
Plants & Animals
The Natural World May Help Mental Health, But Studies Lack Diversity
MAY 11, 2022
The Natural World May Help Mental Health, But Studies Lack Diversity
It seems like a no-brainer that the natural world would have a positive effect on our well being, particularly our menta ...
MAY 17, 2022
Plants & Animals
Broad International Cooperation Needed to Save Coral Reefs
MAY 17, 2022
Broad International Cooperation Needed to Save Coral Reefs
Coral reefs have long been a central focus of the impacts of climate change. We hear stories every other day, it seems, ...
JUN 03, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Seeds matter when growing cannabis
JUN 03, 2022
Seeds matter when growing cannabis
Seeds are where it all begins when growing high quality weed. Here's how to select the right ones.
JUN 08, 2022
Plants & Animals
Coffee Reduces the Risk of Kidney Injury
JUN 08, 2022
Coffee Reduces the Risk of Kidney Injury
If you already start your day with a cup of coffee, then you’ll probably be excited to hear that you should contin ...
JUL 07, 2022
Plants & Animals
Do Ancient Wheat Products Impact the Diversity of Gut Microbiota?
JUL 07, 2022
Do Ancient Wheat Products Impact the Diversity of Gut Microbiota?
Quinoa. Millet. Sorghum. Farro. These are all grains that have been cultivated for thousands of years. Nowadays, they ar ...
Loading Comments...