SEP 26, 2016 07:33 AM PDT

Diego the Giant Tortoise Has Fathered Well Over 800 Offspring

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
NOV 20, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 20, 2018
Stomach of Deceased Sperm Whale That Washed Up in Indonesia Was Filled with Plastic
When a deceased sperm whale washed up on the shore of an Indonesian park, officials sought expert help for answers. Not long after, a necropsy procedure re...
NOV 25, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 25, 2018
Snails Are More Likely to Take Risks When They're Hungry
Snails have particular food preferences that dictate what they will and won’t eat, just like any other animal out there. But as you might come to exp...
NOV 29, 2018
Microbiology
NOV 29, 2018
Bacteria may Explain the Symbiotic Relationship of Anemones & Clownfish
Sea anemones normally kill and eat fish. But clownfish can nestle into anemones without getting stung....
DEC 26, 2018
Plants & Animals
DEC 26, 2018
Salmon Face Impaired Olfactory Function Amid Ocean Acidification
Olfaction, or more colloquially known as the sense of smell, is essential for coho salmon. The fish depend on their noses to sniff their way through a vari...
DEC 31, 2018
Plants & Animals
DEC 31, 2018
Conservationists Are Trying to Give the Elusive Madagascar Pochard a Second Chance
The Madagascar pochard is a duck species so elusive that conservationists once thought it was extinct. But in 2006, a team happened upon a small population...
DEC 31, 2018
Plants & Animals
DEC 31, 2018
Rescue Teams Save Dozens of Stranded Sea Turtles in Indonesia Amid Deadly Tsunami
The tsunami that devastated Indonesia earlier this month did unbelievable amounts of damage to local families and communities. At the time of this writing,...
Loading Comments...