Chelonoidis nigra Galápagos Giant Tortoise
Some other names for this species:
Galápagos Tortoise, Giant Tortoise
Subspecies I've seen:
C. n. porteri
Santa Cruz Giant Tortoise
Chelonoidis nigra porteri Santa Cruz Giant Tortoise
Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos Islands, EcuadorMay 4, 2012
Santa Cruz Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra porteri) Santa Cruz Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra porteri) Santa Cruz Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra porteri) Santa Cruz Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra porteri)
Monica and I had visited the Galápagos Islands once before, in 1994. On that trip we had seen many wonderful sights, but we had not seen in the wild any of the famous giant tortoises after whom the archipelago was named. Due to centuries of depredation by whalers, pirates, and collectors for museums, the tortoises have been extirpated from most of the easily accessible areas in the islands. So we were particularly excited that our tour included a trip to the highlands of Santa Cruz, where in a couple of hours of wandering we came across five of these behemoths living wild tortoise lives of eating, sleeping, and resting in the mud.
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