Persistence of distinctive morphotypes in the native range of the CITES-listed Aldabra giant tortoise
Lindsay A. Turnbull, Arpat Ozgul, Wilna Accouche, Rich Baxter, Lindsay ChongSeng, Jock C. Currie, Naomi Doak, Dennis M. Hansen, Pierre Pistorius, Heather Richards, Janske van de Crommenacker, Rainer von Brandis, Frauke Fleischer-Dogley and Nancy Bunbury
Article first published online: 7 NOV 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1764
In his quest to undermine the immutability of species Darwin famously cited the morphological variation displayed by the Galapagos giant tortoise, where distinctive morphotypes are found on different islands. Here we test whether the only other extant species of giant tortoise – the Aldabra giant tortoise – displays similar morphological variation. We find that it does and these differences have been apparent for around 50 years, despite the better-connected nature of the subpopulations on Aldabra.