Imagining Darwin: Bringing Home the Tortoise


Darwin took several tortoises on board the Beagle during its time in the Galapagos. I like to imagine him having them on board as companions during the long sea voyages in between the Beagle’s ports of call. One of these tortoises was always thought (or wished) to be the famously long-lived Harriet of the Australia Zoo in Queensland, who died at the ripe old age of 176 in 2006 (and in fact the Zoo still claims Harriet as “Darwin’s tortoise”). It turns out that this is very unlikely, but Darwin’s tortoises were eventually tracked down:

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