The Pinta Island subspecies of the Galapagos Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni) is now believed to be extinct.
Lonesome George lived in a large corral on the main island of Galapagos, with several females of the Espanola subspecies. George was much fonder of his fronds and sunshine than the females, though, and despite their genetic similarity (meaning that the eggs would likely be fertile), he did not mate with them.
The tortoise subspecies of the islands were second only to the finch adaptations in inspiring Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
I thought I posted about Lonesome George on Darwin Day, but alas, it appears I did not. I have a few posts on tortoises, including a photo of Harriet, a notable Galapagos tortoise who died in 2006, at age 176, but no George.
As Lonesome George was considered a fairly young adult, in terms of tortoise years, his death was unexpected, and the cause is unknown. A necropsy will take place to determine the cause, and his body will be preserved and kept at the Galapagos National Park visitor center.