Amazing Facts

Interesting Facts on Galapagos Island




The Galapagos Islands take their name from the saddleback
tortoises
that are found there. These tortoises are among
the world's largest.


These volcanic islands are an archipelago located in the Pacific
Ocean, roughly six hundred miles from western Ecuador. There are
thirteen main islands in the chain and more than a hundred smaller
islands and islets.


The chain's oldest island is thought to have been formed
approximately ten million years ago.


The islands constitute an Ecuadorian province and are part of
that country's national park system. Ecuador strictly regulates
tourism in the area.


More than sixty volcanic eruptions have been documented
over the last two hundred years in the Galapagos region.


During the nineteenth century, whaling ships were a common sight
in Galapagos waters. Sperm whales once swam in large pods
around the islands.


Today, orcas can be seen hunting sperm whales in
Galapagos waters. Orcas also feed on Galapagos sea lions, sharks,
and rays.


Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, was so fascinated with the
islands that he wrote a series of essays about them in his work The
Encantadas
.


Charles Darwin was twenty-six when he first saw the Galapagos
Islands. 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.


Darwin Island, one of the main islands in the archipelago,
is named for the naturalist.


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.


The islands' marine iguanas are only found in the
Galapagos region. These are the only marine-going lizards found
anywhere in the world.


The notorious scolopendra centipede lives on the islands
and frequently dines on lava lizards and even young rats. These
creatures grow to about thirty centimeters.


The famous Galapagos penguin is the only type of penguin to live
at the equator. An endangered species, there are less than 1500
examples according to scientific studies.


Poisonous manzanillo apple trees are native to the
islands. Both their fruit and sap are toxic.



   
Related Tags: Island  Volcanoes  Oceans  
 
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