Article ID: CBB088609231

The Island of Origin of Richard Harlan's Galapagos Tortoise Testudo Elephantopus (2017)


Nothing was known about the source of the specimen that was the basis for Richard Harlan's description of the tortoise Testudo elephantopus beyond the facts that it was from the Galapagos and was alive in the possession of Philadelphia businessman Whitton Evans before 5 September 1826. From published and archival sources we propose that there is compelling circumstantial evidence that this tortoise was taken on Charles (Floreana, Santa Maria) Island, Galapagos, in September 1825 by Evans's ship America, Isaiah Eldredge master, on its way to Honolulu and Canton. The historically important name Testudo elephantopus Harlan 1826 should therefore take precedence for the extinct tortoise of Charles Island.

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Authors & Contributors
Mouracade, John
Depew, David J.
Atran, Scott
Cohen, Alan
Lawrence, David M.
Braithwaite, Richard
Historical Records of Australian Science
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Phronesis: A Journal of Ancient Philosophy
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Archives of Natural History
Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies
Delachaux & Niestlé
Academic Printing & Publishing
Johns Hopkins University Press
Indiana University
Scientific expeditions
Darwin, Charles Robert
Barber, Frederick Hugh
Huxley, Julian Sorell
Kinsey, Alfred C.
Réaumur, René Antoine Ferchault de
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
15th century
Galapagos Islands
United States
Great Britain
New York Zoological Park
Australia. Kakadu National Park
London Zoo
Smithsonian Institution

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