6th December 2022

Charles Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos Islands aboard HMS Beagle from 1831 -1836 thrust the scientific communities understanding of our own roots and the complex story of Evolution from an ancient fable logical and somewhat comprehensible chain of happenstance. The voyage provided enough data and specimens to swamp London museums and institutions for many years hence, with the one notable exception.

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise, of Galapagos Turtle as was earlier known, was renowned for three qualities, its incredible longevity, quite monstrous size, and most importantly, its entire carcass was unbelievably succulent to the human palate, quite the most sumptuous meat any if the consumers had ever tasted.  Unsurprisingly not one creature made it back for zoological classification to the British homeland for another of three decades.

The ‘Mock Turtle’, exemplified by Lewis Carrol as a sad beast, and tinned as a tasty soup by the Hienz company, are mere reflections of the original seamen’s delight.

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