Blog: The enchanted Galapagos Islands

29

Jul 2009

The enchanted Galapagos Islands

Posted by / in South America /

Did you know?
The Galapagos penguin is the only tropical penguin in the world.

The Galapagos Penguins breed as many as three times a year, since they don’t have a specified breeding season. Because of this, they are able to choose when to breed, and they ultimately decide this depending on food supplies. Before they breed, the penguins molt, and they may do this twice a year. While the birds are molting, they usually stay out of the water. They are able to go to the sea for food rather than starve though since the water is so warm in their area. Since they molt right before breeding, they are sure that they will not starve during the molting process. Granted, that may mean that there is not enough food during the breeding season, but the survival of the adult penguins is more important than the younger ones since they are the ones that make sure the species does not go extinct.

Some other interesting Galapagos wildlife facts:

The endemic Flightless Cormorant is the largest of the world’s 29 cormorant species, and the only one to have lost its power of flight.

Marine iguanas are only found in the Galapagos region. These are the only marine-going reptiles found anywhere in the world.

There are thirteen species of Darwin’s finches endemic to the islands. As noted by the great naturalist, these birds are famous for their beaks

17% of Galapagos fish species are endemic to the Galapagos.

Why are they so famous?
Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in September 1835, first landing on San Cristobal. He spent a total of 5 weeks in Galapagos.. His observations about life on the islands eventually led to his famed theory of evolution. His On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was published in 1859.

Most of the islands are the tips of enormous volcanoes formed by slabs of the Earth’s crust moving south east over a “hot spot”or stationary area where concentrated heat and magma are released.

What can I do to ensure the islands retain their uniqueness?
Why not volunteer on our project on the island of San Cristobal….from 2 weeks to 1 year..

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