Meet Lonesome George, the Face of Extinction
More than 20,000 species of plants and animals around the world are currently under threat of extinction, and hundreds vanish each year. We don’t always know the exact time of extinction, but we do for the Pinta Island giant tortoise from the Galapagos Islands.
On June 24, 2012, Lonesome George—the tortoise displayed at the Museum and the last known member of his species—died of natural causes.
Before a species goes extinct, there must be one last survivor. For the Pinta Island tortoise, that survivor was the male known as Lonesome George.
Lonesome George lived in the Galapagos, a chain of islands off the coast of Ecuador that changed our understanding of the natural world.
Museum scientists worked closely with taxidermy experts to preserve Lonesome George as he appeared in life.
Lonesome George is presented in collaboration with the Galapagos National Park Directorate and Galapagos Conservancy.