Chelonoidis chathamensis (Van Denburgh, 1907)

San Cristóbal giant tortoise, Chatham Island giant tortoise



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonyms: Testudo chathamensis Van Denburgh, 1907; Geochelone elephantopus chathamensis (Van Denburgh, 1907); Geochelone nigra chathamensis (Van Denburgh, 1907); Chelonoidis nigra chathamensis (Van Denburgh, 1907)


Conservation Status


Last record: 1906

IUCN RedList status: Endangered



San Cristóbal (=Chatham Island), Galapagos Islands, Ecuador


Anatomy & Morphology



Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Van Denburgh, J. (1907). Expedition of the California Academy of Sciences to the Galapagos Islands, 1905-1906. I. Preliminary descriptions of four new races of gigantic land tortoises from the Galapagos Islands. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 1(4): 1-6.


Other references:

Caccone, A., Cayot, L. J., Gibbs, J. P. and Tapia, W. (2017). Chelonoidis chathamensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T9019A82688009. Accessed on 30 November 2022.

Conrad, Cyler et al. (2022). Galápagos tortoise stable isotope ecology and the 1850s Floreana Island Chelonoidis niger niger extinction. Scientific Reports 12: 22187.

Gaughran, Stephen J. et al. (2023). Whole-genome sequencing confirms multiple species of Galapagos giant tortoises. bioRxiv preprint.

Jensen, Evelyn L. et al. (2022). A new lineage of Galapagos giant tortoises identified from museum samples. Heredity 128: 261-270.


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