Photo Story – The giant tortoises in the Galapagos Archipelago, Ecuador

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An undated handout photo made available by the Charles Darwin Foundation on 09 July 2021 shows giant tortoises in Santa Cruz, in the Galapagos Archipelago, Ecuador (without date). Scientists from five countries are trying to discover if the giant tortoises are, in terms of their interaction with the ecosystem, the elephants or the hippos of the Ecuadorian archipelago of Galapagos, a natural laboratory where scientist Charles Darwin developed his theory of the evolution of species. Considered as ecosystem engineers, giant tortoises can greatly influence the areas they inhabit and by being in pools they move nutrients from terrestrial to aquatic areas, something very similar to what hippos do.