A giant tortoise believed extinct for over 100 years has been discovered on the Galapagos island of Fernandina, Ecuador's environment minister said late on Tuesday.
An adult female specimen of the Chelonoidis Phantasticus species was found by an expedition led by the Galapagos Parks authority and the Galapagos Conservancy group, Marcelo Mata wrote in a tweet reposted by the two organizations.
The minister said that the animal had been believed extinct for over 100 years, but did not provide any further details.
According to Galapagos Conservancy, the only known specimen of Chelonoidis Phantasticus, commonly known as Fernandina Island tortoise, "was collected during the California Academy of Sciences expedition in April 1906."
"While thought to be extinct due to volcanic eruptions in past centuries, there have been anecdotal observations indicating that there may indeed still be a very few left on the island," the group wrote on its website.