Galápagos Tortoise May Be World’s Oldest Dad
The world’s “rarest living creature” may soon become the oldest living new father after almost a century of bachelorhood. Lonesome George, the last known Pinta Island giant Galapagos tortoise, has taken another stab at paternity after spending most of his lifetime celibate, despite repeated efforts by scientists to compel him to procreate. Last year, George finally discovered the joy of reproduction with a female of a different subspecies, but her eggs turned out to be infertile. Thankfully, he’s chosen another favorite female with whom to sow his precious seed, and the results — five new tortoise eggs — are now being incubated. We’ll know whether there’ll soon be a little George or Georgette in 120 days, when the eggs are scheduled to hatch. If they’re fertile, George will be the oldest natural papa on record at 90 to 100 years of age (according to scientists, still at his sexual peak). He may spur the manufacture of a “World’s Oldest Dad” mug — we can see it selling like hotcakes in a drugstore near you.
Stay tuned for another Lonesome George update in November, and listen now to a National Public Radio story on Lonesome George’s latest exploits.