Preserving Lonesome George
January 4, 2015 4:20 AM   Subscribe

The AMNH team preserving Lonesome George for display. As the last known Pinta Island tortoise, Lonesome George became a worldwide icon of conservation decades before he died from natural causes in the Galápagos in 2012. When Lonesome George arrived at the American Museum of Natural History in early 2013 to be preserved as a taxidermic specimen, Museum scientists and a master taxidermist faced a number of crucial decisions as they worked to prepare a mount that was both scientifically accurate and beautiful.

In this short film (24 mins), go behind the scenes with a team of scientists and experts as they preserve the world’s most famous tortoise so that Lonesome George can continue to inspire discussion about nature, science, and conservation.

Lonesome George is on view at the Museum through January 4, 2015. Learn more about the exhibition.

After the exhibition, Lonesome George will return to Ecuador as part of that nation’s patrimony.
posted by WillRun4Fun (6 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
This was a great watch. I love tortoises and turtles but have never had much interest in taxidermy. Seeing the process was fascinating, and I especially enjoyed watching the artist's face at work and the critiques, which were so precise and excellent.

The part at the end where that woman explained the plans to repopulate islands with hybrid tortoises was intriguing. Is that a common thing to do if possible with other extinct species, or is it a sort of only-on-Galapagos thing?
posted by Mizu at 5:36 AM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Good video.

LG Previously
posted by univac at 12:17 PM on January 4, 2015


I appreciate the effort. I know that when I die, I'd like my remains prepared and displayed in a way that was both scientifically accurate and beautiful.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:31 PM on January 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


Of note: "The Eternal Afterlife of Lonesome George"
posted by Stecklow at 3:25 PM on January 4, 2015


Nice to see some behind the scenes footage of the process. Also, I always love to see/hear anything about Lonesome George.

However, it's sad to see that humanity is going to end up with nothing but dioramas of stuffed mega-fauna rather than wild populations.

It appears we're going to cause our own extinction as well, so at least we're equal opportunity in that respect. My last hope, though, is that we don't cause a runaway greenhouse effect so that nothing is left. That would be a really shitty legacy.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 6:55 PM on January 4, 2015


I appreciate the effort. I know that when I die, I'd like my remains prepared and displayed in a way that was both scientifically accurate and beautiful.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 20:31 on January 4


Eponysterical.

Though, it must be said, a white skull in a display case does have a certain je ne sais quoi to it
posted by acb at 2:47 PM on January 5, 2015


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