Saturday, 21 December 2013

Genetic exploration of endangered Galapagos tortoises

The whalers, buccaneers, and other seafarers who plied the Pacific in centuries past brought rats, goats, and pigs along with them, seeding the islands they came across—intentionally and unintentionally—to establish food supplies for future voyages.

While much of the destruction of Pacific island flora and fauna can be traced to those too-successful invaders, recent studies of Galapagos tortoise genetics shows that, perhaps in one case, the mariners' resupply practices preserved species.

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