Meet The Tortoise Who Saved His Species By Having All The Sex

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The Galapagos giant tortoise has never been a numerous species. Limited to the islands it’s named after, at its height there were only about 5,000 of them. And the arrival of man and climate change had decimated their numbers. But the Galapagos giant tortoise is turning it around, thanks to one of their number, Diego, who saw what needed doing. Namely, much like his smaller tortoise cousin, every female giant tortoise.

Diego has a pretty strange history. He was sent to the San Diego Zoo in the ’30s with a few other tortoises, and was returned in the ’70s, after his species was identified as unique. At the time only fifteen of Diego’s species were left, and scattered too far away from each other to reproduce. So they were relocated, with the hope that maybe close proximity would make the tortoises amorous.

Diego, it turns out, was unusually prolific, responsible for 40% of the repopulated tortoises. Why, precisely, he’s such a horndog isn’t clear, unless he’s a huge Lonely Island fan, but one thing that is clear is that the species is growing, largely thanks to his sex drive, and that the Galapagos tortoise will be returning to its former numbers. That said, we hope somebody sorts out Diego’s offspring from each other, lest the Galapagos turns into the tortoise version of The Hills Have Eyes.

(via Yahoo!)

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