Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Galapagos Coup de Gras!!!

Giant Tortoise, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The coup de gras....the Galapagos Tortoise!!!
Isn't he a handsome devil (I think he's a he...)

These tortoise are the largest living species of tortoise...
some of the ones we saw were as big as 600 lbs!!! 
and can be even bigger!!!

This gives you an idea of it's size!!!

They're also one of the longest living vertebrates...
generally 100-150 years.

Records show that in the 16th Century there were upwards of 250,000 Giant Tortoises...
in 1970 records revealed the numbers had decreased to approximately 3000...

Because of substantial conservation efforts in the 20th Century,
the numbers have risen to over 19,000...
but they are still considered to be a vulnerable species...
Unfortunately, five of the original 15 subspecies of these tortoises
no longer exist...

Much of the conservation efforts takes place or originates from 
the Charles Darwin Scientific Center...


  1. looks like you had a fabulous time!

    Am sure Kelly is happy you didn't bring home that tortoise as yet another pet for around the house!

  2. Wow - what a cool giant tortoise!

  3. Kelly would have been intrigued Trish...I'm not so sure the tortoise would have liked Kelly though...or the snow!!!

    Thanks LadyFi!!! They were really cool...we saw about 18 of them in "the wild" which was actually an area behind a small ranch that is open and the tortoise are free to roam where ever...

  4. Haha. And you can't leave Pisa without a picture next to the Tower.

    I've seen these chaps and chappesses at the San Diego Zoo, and they were constantly engaged in one single activity that I can only politely describe as amorous.

  5. Absolutely Hiker!!! And it's a good thing they're amorous... all the better to re-populate the species!!!

  6. Ya gotta watch your step around those big 'uns!!!

  7. I suspect, in the snow, Kelly could have used the tort merely as a hockey puck...that occasionally popped a head out to nip!

  8. Uh...not this one Trish!!! Kelly'd have a hard time trying to play with one of these!!! They'd be more like one of the rocks in the back forty!!!

  9. WEll finally I get to see the big boy, and I'm not talking about da Chief! :)

  10. frozen and on their matter the size, they make good hockey pucks! ;-) maybe LARGE hockey pucks, but they zip about pretty well on ice...not that I'd know anything about such things...

  11. He was definitely a BIG boy Virginia!!!

    These big guys were a bit big for Kelly's ice hockey games, Trish!!!

  12. Thanks for the turtle alert. The turtle and the cockroach are my personal talismam.

    I remember as a kid the San Diego zoo use to keep these guys in the petting zoo and you could ride them. Considering their long life span - they're probably the same guys

  13. I remember seeing these guys in the SD zoo too...though I can't say I ever rode one PA!!! I understand the turtle as a talisman...but the cockroach too???