Galapagos

Galapagos Islands

 

a natural evolution laboratory


The fauna attraction of the Galapagos is, in addition to endemism by its isolation, due to the variety of species in different climatic zones gathered together in one place.
This is how we can find penguins along with reptiles of desert climates, or swimming with tropical fishes. Galapagos is also a place where we can see the same species distributed in different subspecies, one for each island, as it is the case of the giant tortoises that are the icon and that give the name to the archipelago. Darwin's finches and mockingbirds are also representative of Galapagos wildlife evolution. All these and other animals developed, over thousands of years, different strategies and specific adaptations to be able to feed on each island, presenting different signs of evolution over time. This phenomenon eventually led Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution.

Being Galapagos a group of volcanic islands of different ages, we find in them examples of different stages of what will have been the formation of the planet. We can observe how pioneering plants of fragile appearance open transition to life in the midst of fields of black

boxtop

Naturalist cruises
The best way to explore the Galapagos Islands
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Diving cruises
8-day cruises arround the archipelago, including world famous Darwin & Wolf Islands
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Land based trips
If you prefer to spend the night ashore, we have the best options and programs.
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lava, which seems at first sight impossible that something there could survive. In this sense, Galapagos is considered to be a living laboratory, where its attractiveness is not simply watch their peaceful animals at very short distances, but also observe, learn and understand how life developed on the planet, from its beginnings to what it is today.

Giant Tortoises (Geochelone)

Giant tortoise Giant tortoise2 giant tortoise3

It is the planet's largest living tortoise; they may weigh up to 230 Kg and live up to 200 years. They received from the Spaniards the name of Galapago for its resemblance to an English saddle. Darwin observed the differences in the shape of their shells, caused mainly by its scope to food availability or its reproductive behavior in each island. The subspecies from Isabela have been kept isolated from each other by the impossibility to pass through lava flows.

 

Tortoise from Santa Cruz

Geochelone porteri

Tortoise from Santiago

Geochelone darwin

Tortoise from Pinzón

Geochelone ephippium

Tortoise from San Cristóbal

Geochelone chatamensis

Tortoise from Española

Geochelone hoodensis

Tortoise from Pinta

Geochelone abingdoni (Solitary George - extinct June 2012)

 

Tortoises from Isabela:

Tortoise from Alcedo

Geochelone vandenburgi

Tortoise from Cerro Azul

Geochelone vicina

Tortoise from Sierra Negra

Geochelone guntheri

Tortoise from Darwin

Geochelone microphyes

Tortoise from Wolf

Geochelone beck

Darwin Finches

Darwin Finch Darwin finch

On each island all species present a different morphology of its beak, also derived from the food found on the Islands they inhabit, or expertise in their respective eating habits. From a single common ancestor, the following species have been developed in the Galapagos:

 

Large ground finch

Geospiza magnirostris

Medium ground finch

Geospiza fortis

Small ground finch

Geospiza fuliginosa

Common cactus finch

Geospiza scandens

Large cactus finch

Geospiza conirostris

Sharp-beaked ground finch

Geospiza difficilis

Vampire finch

Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis

Vegetarian finch

Camarhynchus crassirostris

Large tree finch

Camarhynchus psittacula

Medium tree finch

Camarhynchus pauper

Small tree finch

Camarhynchus parvulus

Woodpecker Finch

Camarhynchus pallidus

Mangrove Finch

Camarhynchus heliobates

Warbler finch

Certhidea olivacea

Flightless Cormorant (Nannopterum harrisi)

Flightless Cormorant Cormorant

Having no predators and without the need to move long distances to find their food or for reproductive requirements this nice bird gradually lost its ability to fly. Its wings were atrophy, losing most of their feathers.

In all these and in every native and endemic species of the archipelago we can find different examples of adaptation, and all this we see when we travel between the different islands, doing some attractive hiking and attentive observation.

Underwater we also find many wonders, as well as the fact that, by the influence of ocean currents, the Equatorial location and climate, the Galapagos Islands have special conditions which are not repeated on any part of the world and gather a variety and huge amount of exceptional marine fauna and flora.

Once you make your reservation we will send to you a full checklist of birds, mammals and reptiles of the Galapagos.

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