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A tortoise hunted to extinction before Darwin ever arrived on the Galapagos could be brought back to life thanks to new genetic research.
While rummaging through genetic data from 156 Galapagos tortoises living in captivity, researchers have discovered that nine of them are descendents of Chelonoidis elephantopus, a species hunted to extinction by whalers in the 19th century, before Charles Darwin visited the islands. Now they hope to resurrect the extinct ancestors by selectively breeding their descendants
Although their genetic lineage has been diluted over time, researchers think the heritage is still strong enough to revive the extinct species after only four generations of selective breeding.