Goodbye, Pinta Island tortise species!

By | June 25, 2012
Make way for mankind. Tortise, you're not adapting fast enough to keep pace with human-imposed environmental changes. You should have learnt from bacteria instead, who have adapted already by mutating to forms resistant to the toxic chemical slew that we've been pouring on our crops, as well as everything that we've genetically engineered into our crops. And human males, you should also have learned how to produce milk by now: women can't be the only ones responsible for feeding the baby, that's "gender discrimination".

/ irony mode off /

But, was anything ever fair?

Sad to see the tortise gone – it's indeed a loss for us, and a reminder of the absurdity of humankind when it comes to various societal and environmental expectations we have, when unwilling to accept that we ourselves are, more often than not, the source of the problem. On one side, we need to move on, on the other side, it's always nice to see such curiosities, and keep the 'canary in the coal mine alive' – frogs in particular –  so that we have reliable indicators on when we're trampling over nature's toes too much.

/via +João Serrano 

R.I.P. Lonesome George, the Last of His Kind
Lonesome George, the world’s last remaining Pinta Island tortoise, has died at age 100 — marking the final end of a species millennia in the making, and inching that ‘loneliest’ mantle one notch clos…

17 thoughts on “Goodbye, Pinta Island tortise species!

  1. Vipin Udayanan

    Speaking of upsetting the balance, how about we allow humans die in terrorist attacks and natural calamities, rather than saving lives. That could save a lot of money too, you know.

    Reply
  2. Amos Bairn

    It's sad to hear about the death of the last member of a species. We have lost something that, barring some serious scientific voodoo, can't be replaced. It would have been a much bigger loss if it was the end of  tortoises in general, but even one variant is to some degree a loss.

    As for concern about wiping out ourselves and/or all life:
    Life in some form will survive anything we dish out, short of turning our planet into the next Venus. The question is what, specifically, will survive, and will it include us. I believe that with our intelligence and resourcefulness, we can adapt to, and survive, extreme environmental changes.

    I'm not saying we shouldn't be responsible, — we definitely have a big impact on what does and doesn't go extinct — but the extinction of other species, even a lot of other species, doesn't necessarily mean the extinction of humans.

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  3. Vipin Udayanan

    Hmm.. interesting point of view. I thought we need to learn to live with a balance. Balance with nature, balance with species, balance with our society and balance with ourselves within and without. Instead we have developed (or should I say underdeveloped?) to a stage where we proclaim ourselves as masters of the universe and puke toxic air wherever we go and the rest of the creatures have to adapt to such nonsense or die. I wonder if this sense of over-confidence will ever help us in any way other than the puking. As far as I've noticed, we humans have only developed but not evolved, unlike other animals.

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  4. Sophie Wrobel

    +Mladen Mijatov Oh, I don't think there's anything wrong with one species going extinct. That's just natural evolution – lots of species have gone extinct, and many more will just as many more species will rise. But I do think there is something wrong when masses of amphibians start dying off… that's when the 'canary dies in the coal mine' – in other words, when the signal hits that our species is on the line. And the turtle is a good excuse to bring that back into light.

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  5. Mladen Mijatov

    So can someone explain to me why is there so much fuss about species getting extinct? Sure it's sad and painful to imagine that happening to us, but that's how nature works. Natural selection 101. Are people that much egoistical that all the bad things we've done so far are not enough, but now we want to control how one of basic principles of nature work and modify that as well. The very same principal that allowed development of humans.

    How many species do you think have gone extinct since life stared on this planet some 4 billion years ago. Do you really think humans endangered them all? All this is just another need for humans to control this planet even more. 

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  6. Mieszko Hank

    I think that about 99,9% of species that ever lived in the world died so it is totally normal. Homo sapiens will die some day, and every thing will be reorganized that's how it's work.

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  7. Sophie Wrobel

    +Suma Chatterjee Human stem cells survive in dead bodies for at least one week – probably even longer – so that tortise quite probably still has living cells from which DNA can be extracted. I'm not sure it would solve the mating problem for cloned males of his sort or environmental degredation, though, which would also be required to successfully revive a species.

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  8. Jonathan Powell

    +Oliver Hoffmann Can you name another species on this planet that has the ability to care or even the reasoning power too? If not it's up to us to fix the problems we cause but everyone knows we won't admit it's us causing the problems anyways like the original post stated. 

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  9. Wilfrid Wong

    It is sad to hear this +Sophie Wrobel . The problem with our species is that, we just don't care. Proachers steal turtle eggs for profits. Sharks are killed for their fins that have zero benefit besides a unique texture to our soup.

    The list goes on.

    Reply

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