When the giant tortoise Lonesome George died this summer, conservationists from around the world mourned the extinction his species. However, a genetic analysis by Yale University researchers of tortoises living in a remote area of a Galapagos Island suggests individuals of the same tortoise species may still be alive — perhaps ancestors of tortoises thrown overboard by 19th century sailors. Leer más.

IT was large, that much was obvious. When Edwin Cadena first saw the fossil in 2005, he thought he might be uncovering another specimen of Titanoboa cerrejonensis, the ancient snake he and his colleagues discovered in 2004 on a Smithsonian expedition lead by Carlos Jaramillo, Jason Head, and Jonathan Bloch. But as he slowly picked the rock away, the fossil was revealed as another giant reptile, a ~58-million-year-old contemporary of Titanoboa, and one of the largest freshwater turtles ever found. So big, even the 13-meter, two ton snake probably couldn’t swallow it. He named it Carbonemys cofrinii, “coal turtle.” Leer más.