The Darwinian Theory of Natural Selection and the islands of Galapagos are tied to the hip. The islands are located about 1000 kilometers off the coast of the South American Continent and comprise of 120 distinct islands. The islands have been described as a ‘living museum and a showcase of evolution’.

Galápagos Islands

The Darwinian Theory of Natural Selection and the islands of Galapagos are tied at the hip. The islands are located about 1000 kilometers off the coast of the South American Continent and comprise of 120 distinct islands. The islands have been described as a ‘living museum and a showcase of evolution’.

The islands are located at the confluence of 3 major ocean’s currents, thus making it the melting pot of marine species. The island is home to ongoing seismic and volcanic activity that is very important to the science community including geologists, marine biologists, archaeologists and zoologists. The seismic processes coupled with the isolation of the islands led to the development of unusual animal’s species, a fact that inspired the Darwinian theory of Evolution after he visited the islands in 1835.

Among the rare animals species that you are going to find in this island include the land giant iguana and the giant tortoise

The islands occupy the Galapagos submarine platform which makes up a whopping 120 islands. The most popular islands among the group include; San Cristobal, Isabela, Santiago, Danta Cruz and Fernandina. The islands were formed as a result of volcanic processes. Most of the islands are a summit of a huge volcanic mountain that rises from the Pacific floor to about 3000 meters. The islands feature sloping shield volcano that has resulted into collapsed craters and calderas. Other noteworthy features on the landscape include crater lakes, sulphur fields, lava tubes, fumaroles etc.

The area’s endemic species include invertebrates, birds and reptiles. Of course there are a few indigenous mammals. You will probably want to visit this island for its endangered tortoise species. There are 11 Galapagos Giant Tortoise species.

Check out the list below for the most endemic species in the islands:

Reptiles

  • Galápagos giant tortoise
  • Terrestrial iguanas
  • Marine iguana
  • Three racer species
  • Numerous lizards of the genus and geckos

The native avifauna

  • 13 species of Darwin's finches, including Floreana tree finch and mangrove finch
  •  Dark-rumped petrel
  • Galápagos flightless cormorant
  • Galápagos penguin
  • Lava gull
  • Floreana mockingbird
  • Galápagos hawk
  • Lava heron
  • Nocturnal swallow-tailed gull
  • Galápagos rail
  • Thick-billed flycatcher
  • Galápagos martin
  • Galápagos dove

Native mammalian fauna

  • Galápagos fur seal
  • Galápagos sea lion
  • Two species of rice rat
  • Bat and hoary bat

Marine fauna

The marine species include: sharks, rays and Cetaceans. Green turtle and hawksbill turtle are common in surrounding waters, with the former nesting on sandy beaches.

 

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