A giant tortoise by any other name

Long, heated battle ends with a moniker for the Indian Ocean reptile

By Susan Milius, 16:34 PM April 9, 2013

One of the most passionately disputed arguments over a scientific name has finally come to an end. After 200 years of ambiguity, years of fierce debate and a record number of formal comments on the proposed name, a commission has declared gigantea the one true species term for the Aldabra giant tortoises.

That species descriptor will be used as part of a two-word Latin name that puts the species into a genus with its near relatives. Meet Aldabrachelys gigantea.

“Taxonomy is a swirling, dyn...

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