The Gigantic Land Tortoises of the Mascarene and Galapagos Islands *

Abstract

EVER since the foundation of Natural History Collections in Europe, naturalists had their curiosity excited by shells of Tortoises of enormous size that were brought home in vessels coming from India. From the accounts of travellers as well as from the great convexity of their shell, these tortoises were known to be terrestrial in their life, and totally distinct from the other giants of the Chelonian order, the marine Turtles. Various localities having been given as their habitat, such as the Cape of Good Hope, the Coast of Coromandel, Malacca, China, &c, the impression prevailed that they were found in many parts of India, and consequently nothing could have been more appropriate than the name given to them, Testudo indica.

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GÜNTHER, A. The Gigantic Land Tortoises of the Mascarene and Galapagos Islands * . Nature 12, 238–239 (1875). https://doi.org/10.1038/012238a0

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