Wednesday, January 09, 2019

RIP George

The last known Achatinella apexfulva in the Hawaiian Islands, "George," died on New Year's Day, 2019.  George was approximately 14 years old and his name was derived from the Pinta Island Galapagos tortoise, "Lonesome George," also the last of its species.

The Achatinella apexfulva was the first of over 750 species of land snails from the Hawaiian Islands described in western science.  The first mention dates back to at least 1787 when Captain George Dixon was docked on O'ahu and was given a shell on a lei.

In 1997, the last ten known Achatinella apexfulva were brought to a laboratory at the University of Hawaii for captive rearing.  Some additional offspring were produced but later all the Achatinella apexfulva died, except for George.

-- News release from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, 4 January 2019

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