Invasive species are usually bad news, but here a study shows that 44% of plants that a giant tortoise eats are non-native species. We have to take these findings with a pinch of salt; could it be that tortoises are just eating what is in front of them? Additionally, the invasive plants may be very detrimental for other species on the islands. Further monitoring will help to untangle some of these possibilities.
Some Galápagos giant tortoises are developing a taste for exotic cuisine—invasive plants that people have unwittingly brought to the volcanic islands off Ecuador, a new study says. While invasive species are usually not good news, the discovery may be a boost for an aptly named subspecies called the indefatigable island tortoise (Chelonoidis porteri), which is considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.