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Rare Species That are Only Found on Galapagos Islands

by James Chapman on 01/04/09 at 6:14 am

The Galapagos Islands, which were studied by Charles Darwin during his epic voyage on the Beagle, provided his observations and specimen collections which contributed to the inception of his theory of evolution by natural selection. There are many rare species of creatures that are only to be found on the Galapagos Islands.

The Galapagos Islands are quite remote and isolated, lying some 620 miles west of Ecuador in the South American continent.

The Galapagos Islands, which were studied by Charles Darwin during his epic voyage on the Beagle, provided his observations and specimen collections which contributed to the inception of his theory of evolution by natural selection.

 There are many rare species of creatures that are only to be found on the Galapagos Islands.

 The Galapagos Islands have a really vast number of endemic species that include, Marine Turtles, Land Iguanas, Lava Lizards, Cormorants, Waved Albatross, Penguins, Blue and Red Footed and Masked Boobies, Frigate Birds, Finches, Sea Lions, Fur Seals, Sharks and Dolphins.

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The Land Iguana lizard can be observed in other places in the world, but the Marine Iguanas that are found only on the Galapagos Islands, are quite unique. The Marine Iguanas are the only sea-going lizards in the world and they will often wear distinctive white “wigs” of salt which are expelled from glands near their noses.

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There are many theories as to the reason for the unique existence of the Marine Iguanas on the Galapagos Islands. One theory is the creatures were originally land lizards that came to the islands on driftwood and then evolved to continue living in the sea.

 Another plausible theory is that the Marine Iguanas which can only be found on the Galapagos Islands are the last remaining descendants of a species of sea lizards that are now extinct in the rest of the world.

 Many scuba divers visit the Galapagos Islands to observe the really vast array of marine life that can be found there. Sharks, dolphins and seals are in abundance, with absolutely spectacular coral formations covering the deeper regions of the ocean.

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The Galapagos Islands have recently been visited by royalty, non other than Prince Charles, who has an immense interest in the conservation of the many species that inhabit the islands.

 To have someone of such distinction taking a close interest in the way investment is made in the region can only be good news for the many dedicated people who rely on this support.

 But the Galapagos Islands have their own ‘royalty’ which commands a distinction that is very unique. It is a Giant Tortoise that is so old that it cannot mate, which will mean that it could be extinct very soon.

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The Giant Tortoise, which only exists on the Galapagos Islands, has a large shell that closely resembles a Spanish saddle. Galapago, is the Spanish word for ‘saddle’, which is where the name for the islands originated.

More Recommended Reading About The Galapagos Islands

This is just the most comprehensive guide to the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, you will find excellent and detailed descriptions of its extraordinary birds, mammals, and reptiles.

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5 Comments

Darla Beck

Apr 1st, 2009

A very interesting article and great pics. Thanks for sharing.

Zuri

Apr 1st, 2009

The Galapagos Islands are the most incredible living museum of evolutionary changes, with a huge variety of exotic species (birds, land animals, plants) and landscapes not seen anywhere else.

http://www.galapagos-islands-tourguide.com/

clay hurtubise

Apr 2nd, 2009

Nice article. I would love to visit but feel it doesn’t need any more human interaction!
Thanks,
Clay

Kheng

Apr 10th, 2009

Informative article with beautiful photographs. It is one of the many places that I would love to visit one day.

Thank you.

David

May 31st, 2010

Great Article I enjoyed the Galapagos Wildlife images-The blue footed booby picture is my favorite. Good work and thank you for sharing.

You might enjoy seeing our section on Galapagos Wildlife which discusses many of the species living in the Galapagos.

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