**Division of Biological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48 109, U.S.A.
Biochemical relationships of the Galápagos Giant tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus)*
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 195, Issue 3, pages 413–422, November 1981
How to Cite
Marlow, R. W. and Patton, J. L. (1981), Biochemical relationships of the Galápagos Giant tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus). Journal of Zoology, 195: 413–422. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1981.tb03474.x
*Contribution No. 307 from the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Isles.
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Accepted 10 February 1981
Genetic relatedness was estimated among seven of the extant races of Giant tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus), of the Galapagos Archipelago and between these forms and mainland South American taxa, by starch gel electrophoresis. Genetic similarity among the island races is unrelated to carapace shape, suggesting that the latter was independently derived several times on separate islands. The Galapagos species shares no greater similarity with any mainland species than the latter do among themselves. Thus, the most direct common ancestor of the Galapagos forms is undoubtedly extinct.