The Turtle That Wasn’t There
Last month I attended a TEDx symposium on the controversial prospect of “de-extinction.” All day long, I heard researchers of various stripes give their expert opinions on whether we can – and should – reinvent extinct species to add a new dimension to conservation. But there is another way to de-extinctify a species. Researchers Heiko Stuckas, Richard Gemel, and Uwe Fritz have just removed a turtle from the ever-growing list of extinct species by demonstrating that the reptile never existed in the first place.
Sometime between 1901 and 1906, the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria acquired a trio of turtle specimens from the Zoological Museum Hamburg. According to the labels, the reptiles had been collected