Gentle Giant: The Tragedy of Lonesome George
When the Galapagos were discovered by Spanish explorers in 1535, hundreds of thousands of giant tortoises roamed the islands. (Galapago is the Spanish word for tortoise.) Survivors of prehistoric times when reptiles were of enormous size, some of the tortoises grow to four feet in length and weigh as much as 500 pounds. They may live for more than a century.