Scientists at Home: Extinct Giant Tortoises of Madagascar main content.

Scientists at Home: Extinct Giant Tortoises of Madagascar

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Museum scientist Chris Raxworthy stands next to a giant tortoise fossil. Dr. Chris Raxworthy with a rare complete shell of an extinct giant tortoise from Madagascar.
Courtesy of C. Raxworthy

Join Herpetology Curator Chris Raxworthy for a fascinating exploration of recently discovered caves in Madagascar, where bones from extinct giant tortoises and crocodiles, likely to be less than 2,000 years old, were found. These species went extinct soon after humans first arrived on the island and their cause of extinction is not yet well known.

Raxworthy will answer your questions as he discusses the alternative hypotheses for their extinction and how collected specimens will be tested, using their DNA, to learn about the evolution and origins of these species. Also: Stay tuned for a personal appearance by a special guest from the Herpetology Department: Persephone, a 56-year-old Greek tortoise.

Join the watch party on Thursday, August 6, at 2 pm EDT, or view on this page at the designated time. (You may have to refresh your browser.)


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