Its populations declined dramatically due to predation by the rosy wolfsnail, which was introduced to Hawaii in the 1950s to control agricultural pests. George (c. 2005  – January 1, 2019)[1][A] was a snail of the species Achatinella apexfulva, and the last known individual of his species. These snails were so common, that 10,000 could easily be collected in just one day, 19th-century records suggest. "Anything that is abundant in the forest is an integral part of it," Michael Hadfield, an invertebrate biologist who formerly directed the rare Hawaiian snail captive-breeding program, told National Geographic. [1] In 2017, researchers collected a two-millimetre sample of George's foot, which is now kept in storage at San Diego's Frozen Zoo, to be available for possible future cloning attempts.[2][9]. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. George, the last of his species of Hawaiian land snail, died on New Year's Day. [7][8], On January 1, 2019, George died at age 14, leaving the species reportedly extinct. [Amazing Mollusks: Images of Strange & Slimy Snails]. George the snail, named after the Pinta Island tortoise Lonesome George, never lived in a forest, being born in captivity and growing up in a lab. Like most land snails, George the snail was hermaphroditic (having both male and female parts), so either male, female, or … Although George was about 14 years old at the time of his death in 2019, several sources state that he was born in the "early 2000s". He was approximately 14 years old. [1][2] His body was discovered the following morning. [2] Most offspring died of unknown causes, but one successful offspring was born. Scientists believe he … These snails were taken to the University of Hawaii for captive breeding, but all of the offspring died, except for George. His name was George, and he was the result of a breeding effort in Hawaii to save his species. George was born in a captive breeding facility at the University of Hawaii, and was the last of the species Achatinella apexfulva. The still-living tissue is now stored in a deep-freeze container at San Diego's Frozen Zoo, but it remains to be seen whether some new technology, such as CRISPR, will be able to one day bring the snail back. His death was confirmed by Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources.. George was born as part of a last-ditch effort to save his species. And the moment he slimed off this mortal coil, 2019 experienced its first documented extinction. In fact, the first mention of A. apexfulva dates to 1787, when Capt. [2], George has been described as "a thumbnail-size whorl of dark brown and tan. New York, Craig's intro on 11/10 (11/11 actual airdate) with George the Snail The last of a particular kind of Hawaiian land snail has died. "World's loneliest snail dies, and a species goes extinct", "George the Snail, Believed to Be the Last of His Species, Dies at 14 in Hawaii", "Species Profile for Oahu tree snail (Achatinella apexfulva)", "Lonely George – A Hawaiian Tree Snail – Has Died, Taking His Species With Him", "World’s loneliest snail lives in Hawaii but can’t get a date", "“Operation Snail Bail” Protects Tiny Native Creatures", "Hurricane Lane floods homes in Hawaii as others take to the waves", "Death of George the tree snail marked the first extinction of 2019", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=George_(snail)&oldid=905242204, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 7 July 2019, at 21:30. George was 14, born in captivity to two Achatinella apexfulva snails, and likely unaware of what its existence and demise would mean to the world beyond its small, clear enclosure. [3] He became sexually mature in 2012, but could not reproduce without a mate. In fact, George was the last known member of his species, Achatinella apexfulva. While George's death came as a bit of a surprise (it's tough to tell when a snail is ill), the extinction of his species has been a long time coming. George's death "is a significant loss to locals as he was featured in numerous articles and hundreds of school children have viewed him over the years," the DLNR said in its statement. [6] At the time of his death, George was kept in a trailer on the outskirts of Kailua, Oahu, cared for by researcher David Sischo, director of the state's Snail Extinction Prevention Program, and colleagues. "As we are all mourning George, I hold tighter the thought that hope still does exist for these native snails," Norine Yeung, the malcology (or study of molluscs) collection manager at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu, where George's remains are now stored in ethanol, told National Geographic. 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