The Wallace’s Giant Bee and Galápagos Giant Tortoise have both been rediscovered in a matter of weeks.
While completely unrelated, 2 synchronistic wildlife discoveries have been made related to giant animals which were thought to be extinct.
The first is the world’s largest bee, called Wallace’s Giant Bee. This creature has not been seen since 1981, and was spotted on an Indonesian island.
The technical name for this bee is the, Megachile pluto, but it was named after the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who was the first to spot the mammoth insect.
NOTICIA MUNDIAL | En la isla Fernandina – #Galápagos, la expedición liderada por @parquegalapagos y @SaveGalapagos, localizaron un espécimen (hembra adulta) de la especie de tortuga Chelonoidis Phantasticus, que se creía extinta hace más de 100 años. pic.twitter.com/51HbqWcwMG
— Marcelo Mata (@Marcelo_MataG) February 19, 2019
The discovery was made by photographer Clay Bolt, who shared his account with Global Wildlife Conservation. “The structure was just too perfect and similar to what we expected to find,” Bolt wrote. “I climbed up next, and my headlamp glinted on the most remarkable thing I’d ever laid my eyes on. I simply couldn’t believe it: “We had rediscovered Wallace’s Giant Bee.”
The discovery was also documented by the Australian university’s school of life and environmental sciences. Team member professor Simon Robson said “Amid such a well-documented global decline in insect diversity, it’s wonderful to discover that this iconic species is still hanging on,”
The second discovery took place on the Galápagos islands, where the Fernandina giant tortoise has been spotted, in the first sighting for over 110 years.
The female tortoise was seen on February 17th, during an expedition to the island of Fernandina. This is the first sighting since 1906, although there was a possible sighting in 2009. The team has also found evidence, such as excrement and bite marks on cacti, suggesting there are more members of the species on the island.
“The conservation of Galápagos giant tortoises has been my world for 29 years, and I have been involved in many exciting events, including the discovery of a new species of tortoise. But this time, the emotion I feel is indescribable,” Wacho Tapia, Director of the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative at the Galápagos Conservancy, said in a statement.
“To find a living tortoise on Fernandina Island is perhaps the most important find of the century. The only live specimen of the species from Fernandina (Chelonoidis phantasticus) was found 112 years ago,” he added.
“Now we just need to confirm the genetic origin of this female. She is old but she is alive!”
IMAGES CREDIT: parquegalapagos