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Scientists find tortoise genetically linked to extinct species

A scientific expedition to the Galapagos Islands discovered a tortoise genetically linked to an extinct species.

Lonesome George, who died in 2012, was the last known tortoise of the Pinta Island (Chelonoidis abingdonii) species.

The Galapagos National Parks (PNG) said the expedition had discovered a young, female specimen deemed "a high-importance find because it has a strong genetic component of the species 'Chelonoidis abingdonii.'"

She "could be a direct descendant of a pure individual, which could still be alive somewhere," the park said.

The Galapagos Islands, located 620 miles (1,000 kilometres) off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, were made famous by Charles Darwin's studies of their breathtaking biodiversity.