Galapagos Species Checklist

Chelonoidis elephantopus (Harlan, 1827)

Tortuga Gigante de Floreana, Floreana Galapagos Tortoise

Taxonomy

Domain
Eukaryota

Kingdom
Animalia

Phylum
Chordata

Class
Reptilia

Order
Testudines

Family
Testunidae

Genus
Chelonoidis

Species
elephantopus

Taxon category: Accepted

Syn.: Chelonoidis nigra (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824), Geochelone elephantopus (Harlan, 1827), Testudo nigra Quoy & Gaimard, 1824, Testudo galapagoensis Baur, 1889, Testudo elephantopus galapagoensis Mertens & Wermuth, 1955, Chelonoidis galapagoensis Bour, 1980, Geochelone nigra nigra (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824), Geochelone galapagoensis Márquez, 2004. Le et al. (2006) demonstrate that the genus Geochelone is polyphyletic and that the Galapagos Giant Tortoises are better treated as the monophyletic genus Chelonoidis; According to Márquez et al. (2004) and Poulakakis et al. (2008) the Geochelone taxa from Galapagos are genetically distinct and therefore treated as species and not as subspecies of Geochelone nigra.

Status

Extinct

Distribution

Distribution map of specimen collection localities or observation records for this species in our collections database.

Distribution: Restricted to Floreana Island.

References

  • Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G. Milstead, B., Márquez, C., Zabala, J., Buitrón, P., Llerena, A., et al. (2007) Galapagos vertebrates: endangered status and conservation actions. Galapagos Report 2006–2007. Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, p. 104–110.
  • Steadman, D. Stafford, T.W., Donahue, D.J. & Jull, A.J.T. (1991) Chronology of Holocene vertebrate extinction in the Galápagos Islands. Quaternary Research 36(1): 126-133.
  • Snell, H.L. Márquez, C. (1999) A new class of vertebrates established in Galápagos. Distributed by e-mail and trough the internet.
  • Pritchard, P.C.H. (1996) The Galapagos tortoises: Nomenclatural and survival status. Chelonian research monographs No. 1. Chelonian Research Foundation.
  • Van Denburgh, J. (1914) The gigantic land tortoises of the Galápagos archipelago. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 2, part 1: 203–374, pls. 12-124.
  • Poulakakis, N. Glaberman, S., Russello, M., Beheregaray, L.B., Ciofi, C., Powell, J.R. & Caccone, A. (2008) Historical DNA analysis reveals living descendants of an extinct species of Galápagos tortoise. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (PNAS) 105(49): 15464-15469.
  • Ernst, C.H. Barbour, R.W. (1989) Turtles of the world. Smithsonian Instit. Press. USA 313 pp.
  • Russello, M.A. Glaberman, S., Gibbs, J.P., Márquez, C., Powell, J.R. & Caccone, A. (2005) A cryptic taxon of Galápagos tortoise in conservation perfil. Biology letters 1: 287-290.
  • Caccone, A. Powell, J. (2009) Giant Tortoises. Mapping their Genetic Past and Future. In: T. De Roy (ed.): Galápagos. Preserving Darwin´s Legacy. Bateman, Albany, New Zealand, p. 98-105.
  • Fritts, T.H. (2001) A brief review of the taxonomic history of Galapagos Tortoise relevant to consideration of the most appropiate generic and specifc name for Giant Tortoises in Galapagos. U.S. Geological survey Report, 7 pp.
  • Márquez, C. Wiedenfeld, D.A., Snell, H.L., Fritts, T., MacFarland, C., Tapia, W., & Naranjo, S. (2004) Population status of Giant Land Tortoises (Geochelone spp., Chelonya: Testudinae) from the Galapagos Islands. Ecología Aplicada 3(1-2): 98-111.
  • Russello M.A. Poulakakis, N., Gibbs, J.P., Tapia, W., Benavides, E., Powell, J.R. & Caccone, A. (2010) DNA from the Past Informs Ex Situ Conservation for the Future: An ‘Extinct’’ Species of Galápagos Tortoise Identified in Captivity. PLoS ONE 5(1): e8683. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008683
  • Le, M. Raxworthy, C.J., McCord, W.P. & Mertz, L. (2006) A molecular phylogeny of tortoises (Testudines: Testudinidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40(2006): 517–531.
  • James, M.J. (1984) A new look at evolution in the Galapagos: evidence from the late Cenozoic marine molluscan fauna. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 21(1-2): 77-95.
  • Loope, L.L. Hamann, O. & Stone, C.P. (1987) Comparative conservation biology of oceanic archipelagoes Hawaii and the Galápagos. BioScience 38(4): 272-282.

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