Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Harriet the Tortoise is 175 years old. A longtime resident of Australia, Harriet was thought to have been brought from the Galapagos by none other than Charles Darwin, during the famed voyage of the Beagle. But now some scientists are questioning that claim. Analysis of her mitochondrial DNA by indicates that she is from Santa Cruz island, whereas Darwin collected his specimens from Espanola, Santa Maria and San Salvador. No one seems to question her age, however, nor her rarity. She is thought to be one of perhaps fewer than a dozen members of her particular sub-species.