New Scientist: New hope for Galapagos' 'Lonesome George'
The rarest living creature - a giant tortoise thought to be the last of his kind - may not be alone after all, say geneticists. The revelation gives new hope to "Lonesome George" as conservationists consider a proposal to get him to breed in captivity…
[Jeff] Powell [of Yale University] and colleagues analysed the DNA of 27 tortoises from Wolf Volcano on Isabela. One of these appears to be a cross between a Pinta male and an Isabela female, they discovered. Unfortunately, it is also male. But its mere existence raises the intriguing possibility there might be a female carrying Pinta genes that would make a suitable match for Lonesome George.
I fear this is a false hope, but it is fascinating how modern genetic techniques can reveal complex species relationships like this.