The Galápagos tortoise complex or Galápagos giant tortoise complex ( Chelonoidis nigra and related species) are the largest living species of tortoise .
Modern Galápagos tortoises can weigh update to 417 kg (919 lb), today, giant tortoises exist on only two remote archipelagos: the Galápagos Islands about 1,000 km (620 mi) due west of mainland Ecuador ; and Aldabrachelys gigantea of Aldabra in the Indian Ocean, 700 km (430 mi) east of Tanzania.
Spanish explorers, who discovered the islands in the 16th century, named them after the Spanish galápago , meaning "tortoise".
Shell size and shape vary between populations.
On islands with humid highlands, the tortoises are larger, with domed shells and short necks; on islands with dry lowlands, the tortoises are smaller, with "saddleback" shells and long necks.
Charles Darwin 's observations of these differences on the second voyage of the Beagle in 1835, contributed to the development of his theory of evolution .
They are the largest living species of tortoise that can survive well past a hundred, with the oldest recorded at 152.
The most famous Galapagos Tortoise was ‘Lonesome George’, a sub species who lived on the Islands, he was 100 years old and still classed as a young adult.
it is one of the longest-lived vertebrates.
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