4. Introduced species are found in Galapagos because they were brought there by humans, intentionally or accidentally. This ability is thought to be unique among all vertebrate species on earth. The Galapagos Islands Islands are home of more than 9000 species some of them are unique, found only in this part of the planet. They are found in the Pacific Ocean, almost 1,000 km from the coast of Ecuador in South America. The great variety of animal and plant life in Galapagos can be attributed to the wide range of habitats on and around the Islands. Then there’s also the fact that this island is key to Charles Darwin’s Theory of evolution. All the species of giant tortoises found in the Galapagos are native to the islands, but all evolved from a common ancestor which journeyed from the mainland to arrive at the islands around 2 to 3 million years ago. The journey ended on October 2 nd, 1836 in Falmouth. The seven major oceanic currents that reach the Galapagos Islands, but mainly the Humboldt Current, are responsible for an unusual grouping of over 500 species of fish – a marine variety that is found in tropical and cool water regions of the Pacific. It is appreciable in the Santa Cruz and Floreana Islands. It is a rare raptor species and endemic to the Galapagos. This incredibly unusual species of iguana found on all Galapagos islands is the only extant (or still existing) marine lizard on Earth. Descendants of Extinct Tortoise Species Found in Galapagos Conservationists working around the largest volcano on the Galapagos Islands say they have found … A trip to the Galápagos is a chance to see some of the world’s weirdest animals. This means that some are only seen in the Galapagos and have adapted to the environment. It is basically located in the West Coast of South America. Although he was only in the Galapagos for five weeks in 1835, it was the wildlife that he saw there that inspired him to develop his Theory of Evolution. The Galapagos hawk is the only bird of prey found in the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the highest levels of endemism (species found nowhere else on earth) anywhere on the planet. This huge expanse of inhospitable ocean in-between makes it very difficult for new kinds of plants and animals to reach the islands. The location of these volcanic islands – at the confluence of large currents – has provided unique habitats for over 1300 species making the collection of Galapagos Islands animals like no other in the world. The islands are home to unique and extraordinary animal species such as giant tortoises, iguanas, fur seals, sea lions, sharks, and rays. One of the main reasons people visit is to see the unique the wildlife much of which can only be found in the Galapagos Islands. About 80% of the land birds you will see, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are endemic. In the Galapagos the endemic flora is recovered (2014). Only some 500 of this unique species of flamingo — the largest of the world’s five — are found in the shallow, brackish lagoons that are unique to the Galápagos. The Galapagos Islands make up an archipelago of 13 major islands and more than a hundred smaller islands that straddle the equator off the Ecuadorian coast. The Galapagos Islands are known for their unique array of wildlife, and they are home to many species that are not found in any other place in the world. A huge part of why you visit the Galapagos Islands is definitely to see the animals! The Most Unique Wildlife in the Galapagos. The goat is an example of an introduced species. These bright red and yellow crabs crawl over the black lava rocks, which makes for great photos. Consequently, these species had to be transported (voluntarily or involuntarily) by man, sometimes altering the balance of the ecosystem, and endangering the life of native species of Galapagos. Most extinct species found in his journey were directly linked to living species of South America, and them, to some of the subspecies of the Galapagos. If you love beach adventures, the Galapagos also has beautiful beaches. The Galapagos Islands are the breeding ground for many species on land and in the sea. Native animals are found naturally in Galapagos and elsewhere: the Frigatebird is a good example. ... Galapagos penguins are the only penguin found north of the equator. Enjoy sun, sand, and ten of the most unique animals of the Galágapos Islands… Observe them just beyond the coast on Floreana and Isabela islands, where they filter-feed on brine shrimp packed with the carotenoids that bring on the bird’s beautiful pink coloring. with Peru extension. Vince Smith / Flickr / CC BY 2.0. In fact, the islands are actually named after these creatures, "Galapagos" is an old Spanish word, no longer used, meaning tortoise. This endemic raptor is one of the few predatory animals found in the Galapagos Islands. According to the Conservancy, between 20,000 and 25,000 tortoises are estimated … Variation. For travelers who love wildlife, a Galapagos cruise should be at the tippy-top of your bucket list. Here are 11 awesome native animals … The Galápagos tortoise complex or Galápagos giant tortoise complex (Chelonoidis nigra and related species) are the largest living species of tortoise.Modern Galápagos tortoises can weigh up to 417 kg (919 lb). It can grow up to 5 meters, and its leaves are shaped like ivy; the latter can reach up to 10 centimeters in length. Our pick for the most colorful animal in the Galapagos Islands is the Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus). 10 or 16 days. Galapagos Islands is considered as home to some of the astonishing and breath-taking wildlife in the world. Endemic animals are only found in Galapagos: the marine iguana is one example. The Galapagos Islands an archipelago of 14 islands and over 120 islets 1000 km off the coast of South America. The Untouched Nature of the Galapagos Islands Up to 95 percent of the Flora and Fauna on the Galapagos Islands are untouched in their natural state. A large number of unique animal species are present in this dynamic island. Once on the islands, he found an amazing diversity of animals—a diversity that left him wondering how some animals could appear so similar at first glance, ... Spot these animals on our tour to the Galapagos Islands. Darwin encountered this fearless hawk throughout his stay. The Galapagos Islands have 15 species of tortoise that are closely related. The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago or group of islands that have been created by volcanoes. The Galapagos Penguin is uniquely adapted to thrive in the tropical latitude of the Galapagos/Lucia Griggi 4. In 2012, a new species of deep-water catshark was discovered and a new species of gecko was also found on Rabida island, having only previously been known through 5,000 year old fossils. Galapagos Fauna The admiration of the world is centered on the fauna of the Galapagos Islands, due to the endemism conditions (82% mammals, 80% land birds, 26% seabirds, 95% reptiles are endemic to the islands). You just need to decide when you want to go and how you want to see this amazing destination. A cormorant that “flies” underwater Flightless cormorants, (c) Patrick Endres The flightless cormorant is the only species of cormorant that can’t fly. Lava Lizard On these islands, you'll be up close and personal with hundreds of animals during a weeklong visit. It is found only in the Galapagos and on only two islands… More than 20% of the marine species in Galapagos are found nowhere else on earth. The Galapagos Islands are famous for several endemic species that evolved to fit the exact niche required to live on rocky islands 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. The islands offer you the chance to see many fascinating species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Although you’ll see a small concentration of species in the Galapagos Islands, there are a few species that are far more unique and endemic. Its flowers are white and somewhat translucent. During our 10 days in the Galapagos Islands on tour with Galakiwi, we saw more wildlife. Ecuador & Galápagos Islands Cruise. Galapago is an old Spanish word for tortoise. Galapagos Hawk. They are also probably the most common Galapagos animal as we found these crabs on nearly every island we visited. The name of Charles Darwin and his famous book the Origin of Species will forever be linked with the Galapagos Islands. Only some 500 of this unique species of flamingo — the largest of the world’s five — are found in the shallow, brackish lagoons that are unique to the Galápagos. The population has unfortunately dwindled to fewer than 200 breeding pairs. The Galapagos islands have a low biodiversity (that is, few animal species), because the islands are 600 miles (1000 km) from the continent. The variety of animals in the Galapagos Islands is absolutely fantastic! References . Sharks, lizards, lobsters and finches with leukism have already been discovered on the Galapagos Islands, but this is the first penguin to be found with the condition there, the statement said. EVOLUTION BEFORE DARWIN. Here is our “top 10” animals you can see in the Galapagos Islands. For starters, almost all of the animals you find in the Galapagos Islands can only ever be found on these islands. Climber known as Vedoca or Passiflora of Galapagos. Observe them just beyond the coast on Floreana and Isabela islands , where they filter-feed on brine shrimp packed with the carotenoids that bring on the bird’s beautiful pink coloring. Following is the list of 10 Endemic Animals of Galapagos Islands. 10. These aggressive predators mainly feed on invertebrates, but will also hunt rodents, reptiles, turtle hatchlings, and small birds. The waters around the Galapagos Islands, ... Now field surveys have found 48 invasive species off the coasts of the islands, in addition to five known non-native species. As opposed to albinism, animals affected by leukism have the normal eye colour for their species. Some of the species found on the islands have ancestors dating back to 3 to 4 million years while only five islands are inhabited. From birds to reptiles to marine life, the Galapágos Islands boast some of the highest percentages of species found only on these islands. 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