Extinct Galapagos tortoise 'can live again'
As scientists hoped Lonesome George would do, an extinct Galapagos tortoise may be 'brought back to life' as relatives of the Geochelone elephantopus has been found.
Cross-breeding these living tortoises might re-create the extinct species - though it could take a century.
The distribution of related tortoises between the islands was one of the pieces of evidence Charles Darwin used in formulating his theory of evolution.
But of 15 known Galapagos species, four have since gone extinct - elephantopus less than two decades after Darwin visited the island.
Now, according to Gisella Caccone from Yale University in New Haven, US, there is a chance that its former island home of Floreana could one day feel its footsteps again.
"We might need three or four generations to do this," she told BBC News.
"But in theory it could be done, and I think it's pretty exciting to bring back from the dead a genome that we thought was gone."
Darwin first 'discovered' the giant tortoises, but many were lost due to being used as food for whaling ships.
It will be difficult to bring back a species from the dead, but it will be worth trying according to scientists working on the case.
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