The Galapagos is a treasure trove of endemic species of birds, mammals and reptiles. Renowned for its unique wildlife, it is no wonder Charles Darwin became fascinated. Many of the species that exist today evolved into new species from animals that drifted to the islands millions of years ago. Lear about four awesome Galapagos creatures.
The Galapagos tortoises are the most famous awsome Galapagos creatures on the islands. It represents the islands all over the world. When the Spanish arrived, they named the islands Tortoise, or Galapagos in Spanish, because the tortoise was so ubiquitous. It is the largest tortoise species in the world and lives more than 170 years. It had no natural predators for millenniums, so it developed a docile temperament, which made it easy to exploit for the first humans that arrived on the islands. There are several intense conservation and breeding efforts, which is the main reason the population is growing. The Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island and the Tortoise Reserve on the same island are the two main places to see the tortoises. Visitors can see the kindergartens where the babies are kept for five years before being released into the wild.
You do not have to go to the coldest place on Earth to watch the Galapagos Penguins, although the birds do stay in the colder areas of the islands where cold ocean currents bring nutrients up to the sea surface, in a process known as UPWELLINGS. It is a comical, awesome Galapagos creatures, flightless bird on land when it waddles along, but in the water, it is perfection. The best way to enjoy watching them is to go into the water right along with them. You can snorkel nearby and see their agility underwater. This is great fun, but don’t hope to keep up as they are amazingly fast underwater.
As the only seagoing lizard in the world, the marine iguana is a wonder to see. Awesome Galapagos creatures found on the rocky shores of most of the islands, but it has adapted to its environment by looking for food in the sea rather than on land. It eats algae that grow on the rocks bellow the sea surface, or those patches of sea lettuce exposed during low tide. Some of the males can dive down to 40 feet and stay underwater for up to an hour. It has a long, flat tail, which is perfect for propelling them through the water. It has the ability of shortening its body length when food is scarce and extending its body when food is plentiful. After basking on the rocks, excessive salt from the sea may accumulate in its nose. It sneezes to shoot the salt out, giving it a dragon-like appearance.
Frigate Bird, also awsome Galapagos creatures!
The frigate bird is a true contradiction. When in flight, it is magnificent, and it can coast on the air currents looking like a kite without a string. Its feathers are sleek and black and it has a slightly sinister forked tail. While it appears to stand still in the sky, it examines the surface of the sea and can pick a fish off the surface with its hooked beak. Frigate birds also harry boobies and terns to make them drop their catch. Frigate birds do not produce enough oil to make their feathers waterproof, so they cannot dive to find food like other seabirds. The fun comes during the courting season when this huge, bird with its 8-foot wingspan becomes dramatic in a comical way. To impress the females, it puffs out the bright red sack under its throat.
The Galapagos has been made famous by Charles Darwin’s discoveries and has attracted visitors for years. The Ecuador government makes sure the tourists are led by knowledgeable guides and that the habitats are protected. This is the main reason you can visit the islands and see the flora and fauna almost as it was when Darwin first set foot there in 1835.