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Extinct Tortoise May Be Back!!!

Filed under: Science!EndangeredTurtleCrazzzzy

dog-in-tortise-costume.jpg

A giant tortoise who was thought to have been extinct for over 150 years may not actually be gone!

Researchers on the Galapagos islands, were looking at a close relative of the "extinct" Chelonoidis elephantopus and found that this relative was actually a hybrid of the two species.

So they began seriously investigating and found that 84 of tortoises showed that their parents had mated with the "extinct" tortoise.

One had done it apparently as recently as 15 years ago.

That means that the 900 pound, once thought extinct creatures could actually still be alive somewhere on the island.

Researchers estimate there could be as many as 38 "extinct" turtles, alive and well, somewhere on the island.

One of the researchers said:

"To our knowledge, this is the first report of the rediscovery of a species by way of tracking the genetic footprints left in the genomes of its hybrid offspring.

These findings breathe new life into the conservation prospects for members of this flagship group."

It's really great that the tortoise is back, but what we're really excited about are the other possibilities.

Does this open the door for dinosaurs maybe existing somewhere on an uncharted island?

Probably not, but we can dream, can't we?

[Image via WENN.]

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LOLZ: Tortoise Chases Man In Motorized Wheelchair

Filed under: YouTubeTurtle

COME BACK HERE OLD MAN!!

He must owe that tortoise money, cause we've never seen one run so fast for so long! Lolz.

The guy in the chair is Josef Rivers, Director of a charity that offers FREE horsemanship and animal interaction as a means of physical therapy to its handicapped students called "Dragon Slayers."

Learn more about the inspiring program HERE!!

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178-Year-Old Tortoise Is The Oldest Living Creature

Filed under: TurtleAmazing

178-Year-Old Tortoise Is The Oldest Living Creature

Assuming vampires aren't real…

Jonathan, the tortoise, is believed to be 178-years-old and was about 70 at the time the black and white picture was taken.

He was photographed during the Boer War around 1900, and his life has spanned eight British monarchs from George IV to Elizabeth II, and 37 presidents!

The previous oldest tortoise was widely thought to be Harriet, a giant Galapagos Land tortoise, who died in 2005 aged 175 in Australia.

Despite his old age, locals say he still has the energy to regularly mate with the three younger females.

You go John!

[image via telegraph.co]

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Man Pleads Guilty To Smuggling 55 Turtles At LAX

Filed under: Legal MattersTurtle

Man Pleads Guilty To Smuggling 55 Turtles At LAX

DUMB!

A Japanese man has pleaded guilty to smuggling 55 live turtles and tortoises from his country into the U.S. by hiding them in snack food boxes. Yummy!

Federal prosecutors said in a statement that 39-year-old Atsushi Yamagami pleaded guilty Monday to one felony count of smuggling in a Los Angeles courtroom. Yamagami faces a maximum of 20 years in prison at his Oct. 31 sentencing.

Another man in the operation pleaded guilty May 23 and is scheduled for sentencing Tuesday.

The men, both from Osaka, were arrested in January at Los Angeles International Airport as part of an undercover investigation by U.S. federal agents called Operation Flying Turtle. BEST NAME EVER!

The animals are protected by an international endangered species agreement and can only be imported with a permit.

[image via U.S. attorney's office]

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Tortoise Amputee Uses A Wheel To Get Around

Filed under: HealthTurtle

Slow and steady and on wheelz!

The tortoise, Gamera, is moving around just fine thanks to what looks to be a basic wheel you could buy at any hardware store.

It looks like someone just glued it to his body… but whatever, if it works it works!

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Patrick Dempsey Tells Ellen All About His Donkey, Dogs and Tortoise

Filed under: Ellen DeGeneresPatrick DempseyPetsDonkey

Ever so McDreamy Patrick Dempsey was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday.

The Actor and race car driver updated Ellen on the on his many many pets - including tortoise with a new name, and his mini donkeys!

Watch to the end if you want to see Pat try on Ellen's gift to him - a racing themed thong.

Thanks so much Ellen!

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Patrick Dempsey Loves His Dogs and Donkeys Equally

Filed under: Patrick DempseyPetsDogRescueDonkey

Patrick Dempsey

Aw.

Like many parents, Patrick Dempsey can't pick a favorite among his kids —or his furkids, for that matter. The Grey's Anatomy star has rescue animals by the dozen (literally), including dogs, miniature donkeys, cats, and even a tortoise, but he loves them all equally.

McDreamy says of his animals,

"All of them become part of your family. They become a part of the kids' lives in a profound way. It's a big extended family."

Having so many animals does require that Dempsey and his family spend lots of time with all of them.

"We have the rounds. We go around and make sure you say hello to everybody during the day. The donkeys, and certainly the tortoise."

Even Dempsey's 4-year-old twin boys, Sullivan and Darby, love the animals. As a parent, Dempsey makes this a priority. He said,

"The way of life is really connecting them to the earth and being understanding of what it is and what's it's about — the garden and the land."

[Image via WENN.]

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