What makes the Galapagos Islands so particular to go to? The animals after all! The animals within the Galapagos Islands are a part of a novel ecosystem that homes species endemic solely to the islands.
It was Charles Darwin who introduced the Galapagos animals to the world’s consideration when he joined Captain Fitzroy on the HMS Beagle on a five-year journey all over the world. The distinctive ecosystem of the Galapagos helped him ultimately develop his principle of evolution via pure choice.
Distinctive Galapagos Animals
When visiting the Galapagos, we noticed many chook species, land mammals, and marine life which might be utterly distinctive to the islands. Due to the remoteness of the islands, these animals have tailored completely to their environments.
There are greater than 200 species of animals within the Galapagos islands with most being completely different species of birds, adopted by reptiles, marine life, and eventually mammals.
The journey the animals needed to endure over open waters to get to the islands, explains the shortage of precise mammals on the islands. Out of the 200+ animal species, solely 32 species of animals of the Galapagos are mammals.
About Galapagos Wildlife
How Did the Animals Get to the Galapagos Islands? It’s believed that the animals had been dropped at the Galapagos by wind and water currents. Birds, seals, turtles, and penguins arrived whereas being swept away from their paths throughout migration, and thru sheer willpower made it to its shores to proceed to thrive and survive on the Galapagos Islands.
Some animals (land mammals) are believed to have come on vegetation rafts. It’s an unlimited feat when you concentrate on it. They needed to survive for weeks at sea with out meals, water, or shelter. The circumstances they confronted on their historic journeys from the mainland have helped them to adapt to the cruel atmosphere and local weather of the Galapagos.
Distinctive Galapagos Animals
We traveled via a number of of the 13 main islands of the Galapagos and noticed many alternative species all through our journey. These are probably the most excellent animals of the Galapagos.
As we toured the Galapagos, we grew to become extra fascinated by its historical past and evolution and will utterly perceive why Charles Darwin was mesmerized by this UNESCO World Heritage Web site. So allow us to take you on a photograph journey of probably the most stunning Galapagos Island animals.
The Galapagos Big Tortoises are by far the star attraction of the Galapagos. These mild giants are huge. The Galapagos large tortoises can stay to greater than 100 years previous and develop to greater than 500 lbs in weight.
Almost hunted to extinction due to the invasion of people within the sixteenth century the inhabitants dwindled to lower than 3000. 4 of the Big species are utterly extinct and the remaining are on the endangered species checklist. However conservation efforts at the moment are happening with breeding packages.
Big Tortoise Breeding Centre
Santa Cruz is a should cease as it’s dwelling to the Charles Darwin Analysis Station and Big Tortoise Breeding Centre
One of many cutest birds within the Galapagos is the Blue-Footed Booby. Whereas we have now seen the blue footed booby in different components of the Pacific Ocean they’re plentiful within the Galapagos with half the breeding inhabitants nesting within the Galapagos.
The male boobies showcase their florescent blue toes in an elaborate mating ritual and are fairly happy with their colourful tootsies. Don’t you simply love saying the phrase booby?
Do you know the phrase booby comes from the phrase BoBo, which implies silly clown? Now we all know the place Bobo the clown received his identify!
Hold a watch out for the crimson footed booby as nicely. Its crimson toes stand out in opposition to its blue invoice and pouch. You must have a pointy eye although, as a result of they’re usually mistaken for the Nazca booby. The Nazca booby doesn’t have vibrant appendages like its cousins.Belief me, it’s tougher than it seems to be to identify the intense crimson and blue toes.
In case you are a chook lover, Genovesa Island is a must-visit. It’s referred to as chook island and moreover spying the Crimson Footed Boobies and Nazca booby, you’ll additionally see yellow-crowned lava herons, the brief eared owl, Galapagos Hawk, and puffball chicks. One cool reality is that the brief eared owl hunts at reverse instances because the Galapagos Hawk to keep away from competitors. Simply one other instance of the difference of wildlife within the Galapagos.
It’s thrilling to see a penguin anytime, however a Galapagos Penguin is the solely penguin discovered north of the Equator, so it’s doubly thrilling! These tiny penguins develop to a peak of about 19 inches.
Sadly these cuties are an endangered species with lower than 2000 Galapagos penguins left with their numbers declining as a consequence of local weather change and the introduction of animals on the Galapagos corresponding to canines and cats that carry illness.
Like so many species within the Galapagos Islands, Galapagos penguins are endemic solely to the area. The Galapagos penguin may be discovered on Fernandina Island and Isabella Island. Whereas kayaking within the Galapagos in Isabella Island we noticed lots of them, however you’ll be able to spy them on different islands as nicely
Galapagos Marine Iguana
Probably the most distinctive animals within the Galapagos that we noticed was the Galapagos Marine Iguana. We couldn’t imagine our eyes once we noticed one feeding on the underside of the ocean whereas snorkeling.
The marine iguana is just discovered within the Galapagos and it feeds on underwater algae and seaweed. Charles Darwin known as them hideous, however possibly we have now a factor for ugly as a result of we thought they had been fairly cute!
Marine Iguanas are identified for his or her white heads that are brought on by sneezing out sea water making a crown of salt upon their prime. I might watch the marine iguana all day. They’re so nonetheless as they bask within the sizzling solar. You possibly can inform the simply relish each minute of it.
Galapagos Land Iguana
There are three land iguanas endemic to the Galapagos Islands, the Santa, The pink Galapagos, and the plain previous Land Iguana itself.
How do you inform them aside?
- The Land Iguana is yellow with black and brown blotches.
- The Pink Iguana is, you guessed it! Pink with black or brown splotches and are solely discovered on Isabella Island.
- The Santa Fe Land Iguana is discovered solely on the island of Santa Fe within the Galapagos
Whereas on the island of Isabella, a tremendous hike is to the energetic volcano of Sierra Negra. It’s right here that we had been in a position to spot the Galapagos Lava Lizard. These small lizards can develop as much as a foot-long. However there are 5 different species of lava lizards on the Galapagos and you will notice them all over the place. They skitter round and hand around in massive teams. Oh the conversations they should be having!
We snorkeled with Galapagos Sharks and noticed a number of within the water. As our information mentioned, the Galapagos Shark is nicely fed, they’re the highest of the meals chain within the Galapagos. So we had nothing to fret about. They didn’t pay any consideration to us as they fed round Kicker Rock.
The Galapagos shark is much like the reef shark, so we took our information’s phrase that we had been Galapagos Sharks. They will develop to 12 toes in size and whereas snorkeling with them, they stored their distance staying beneath us solely developing for a fast peak at times.
Galapagos Sea Lion
You’ll not have as a lot enjoyable anyplace as you’ll swimming with sea lions within the Galapagos. This species of sea lion will also be discovered on the coast of Ecuador, however they’re of their best numbers right here.
You’ll see them hanging out on park benches on San Cristobal Island. They’re cute, however don’t method them on land, they are often vicious.
Additionally when swimming Galapagos sea lions, remember to preserve your distance and allow them to method you. They’ll undoubtedly cease by to say hiya.
Inexperienced Sea Turtle
One among our favourite issues to do within the Galapagos Islands was to go snorkeling. The water is a bit chilly, so we suggest carrying a shorty wetsuit. We might spend longer within the water than individuals in our group as a result of we had a bit of heat and belief me, this as soon as in a lifetime expertise is one thing you don’t wish to rush!
These are the one species of turtle to really nest within the Galapagos. Sadly the turtles of the Galapagos Islands are below menace as a consequence of fishing nets, plastic, mild air pollution and wildlife that isn’t endemic to the island like cats, pigs and rats.
Frigate birds may be discovered all through South America, however that doesn’t make it no much less thrilling while you see one. The Galapagos Islands must species of Frigate Birds, The Nice and the Magnificent Frigate Chicken. And the names are suiting! It’s magnificent to see them.
Throughout mating season, you’ll see the males crimson chests puffed out to draw the females.
The Sally Lightfoot Crab is a colourful crab that you simply’ll haven’t any hassle recognizing when touring via the Galapagos Islands. These crustaceans vibrant crimson, orange, and yellow are enjoyable to observe as they scamper across the islands. These scavengers that may eat absolutely anything together with consuming the ticks off of marine iguanas.
Galapagos Fur Seal
Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis) are one other animal on the endangered checklist that’s beginning to make my heartache as I write this submit. The Galapagos Fur Seal is the smallest seal on this planet that break up its time 70/30 between land and water. The Arctocephalus Galapagoens is normally hanging out amongst rocks making its solution to the shade in the course of the day.
It may be tough to inform a fur seal from a sea lion, however they’ve shorter heads and they’re smaller. Plus, you most likely received’t discover them within the water in the course of the day. The perfect locations to identify them is within the bay at Santiago Island and in Darwin Bay in Genovesa.
Galapagos flamingoes (aka American flamingoes) are the smallest species of flamingoes on earth however they’re no much less thrilling to see. Flamingoes are wonderful fliers and journey all through the Galapagos isalnds. In contrast to recognizing flamingoes within the Kenya the place you’ll see 1000’s, the Galapagos Flamingoes run in smaller circles. Like lots of the chook species within the Galapagos Islands, the Galapagos flamingo mates for all times.
Not all islands can accommodated the food regimen of the Galapagos Flamingo so you’ll have to go to Santa Cruz, Isabela Island or Santiago.
You might have most likely heard of Darwin’s Finch as they performed a key half in Charles Darwin’s principle of evolution. There are 14 species of Darwin’s finches within the Galapagos every with distinctive beak sizes. I couldn’t personally inform them aside, however eager chook waters adore them. The Darwin Finch may be discovered throughout South America as nicely.
The Galapagos Flightless Cormorant is the one Cormorant on this planet identified to have misplaced its capability to fly. Sadly like a lot Galapagos wildlife, flightless cormorants are endangered with an estimated whole of lower than 1000. For hundreds of years they thrived within the Galapagos as a result of meals was so plentiful. You possibly can spy these distinctive creatures on Isla Fernandina.
Additionally discovered off the coast of Ecuador, the Waved Albatross has the biggest wingspan of the chook species within the Galapagos. They solely come to the Galapagos for the breeding season from and you’ve got one of the best probability of seeing them on Espanola Island.
Throughout their mating season from April to December, these birds placed on an elaborate courtship ritual circling each other and clacking their beaks collectively. As soon as they mate, they mate for all times however sadly, these species are below menace as nicely.
And that my associates is the superb wildlife of the Galapagos Islands! Fairly spectacular isn’t it? Should you get the prospect to go to the Galapagos, remember to get within the water to view the marine life from beneath. And ensure to do some hikes inland to discover the reptiles and mammals. It was probably the most spectacular journey. We will solely think about what the crew of the HMS Beagle will need to have felt.
Animal Interplay and Security
Galapagos animals should not afraid of people and visiting the islands provides a novel alternative to see these creatures up shut. You have to keep at the very least 3 meters away from wildlife as to not disturb them, but when they select to come back as much as you, it’s okay. So long as you don’t contact them.
When snorkeling, observe your information’s instruction and don’t attain out to the touch any marine life. Hold a watch out for bull. Sea lions are playful however they are often vicious. By no means chase sea turtles or attempt to contact them.
The place are the Galapagos Islands?
The Galapagos Islands are as remoted because it will get within the middle of the Pacific Ocean with the closest landmass being 600 miles away! Mentioned landmass can be Ecuador.
There are 13 Islands within the Galapagos. 4 islands are inhabited and the remaining haven’t any human settlements and don’t permit in a single day guests. There are greater than 100 islets, rocks and smaller islands that you would be able to tour by boat.
Inhabited Islands of the Galapagos are, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Isabela, and Floreana. You possibly can keep over on these islands.
And these are the best animals of the Galapagos Islands. Have you ever been to the Galapagos? Did we miss any? Tell us within the feedback.
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