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Galapagos Giant Tortoises Prove Their Worth as Ecosystem Engineers

In the late 19th century, whalers, settlers, and pirates changed the ecology of the Galapagos Islands by poaching some native species—like Galapagos giant tortoises—and introducing others, like goats and rats. The latter species became pests and severely destabilized the island ecosystems. Goats overgrazed the fruits and plants the tortoises ate while rats preyed on their […]

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