Regular iguanas climb in trees and eat leaves. The Galapagos Islands National Park and Galapagos Marine Reserve protect the majority of... Galapagos Islands Wildlife. If you visit the Galapagos Islands during mating season, you might get to see their spectacular dancing skills. Apart from a few small differences, they are very similar to the Galapagos Sea Lion – most notably their thick fur coat. 10. South America Species With brown wings and a white body and head, the contrast is striking. Galapagos Finches The Galapagos tortoise are best spotted on Santa Cruz but can easily be found on most islands. From sea lions to marine iguanas, learn about the incredible array of biodiversity to be seen on a trip to the Galapagos Islands! The Galapagos was discovered by Spaniards in 1535 who saw tortoises absolutely everywhere, so named the group of islands ‘Galapagos’ – Spanish for tortoise. Related to other Batfish species but endemic to the Galapagos Islands, this funky looking fish is very unique. Being so playful and inquisitive, these cute animals are often compared to pet dogs! They aren’t very agile on land but are great swimmers and the only lizard in the world who can forage at sea! This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Galapagos Islands Facts. 23. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Each year when they find their way back to each other, they repeat the elaborate dance performed the first time they courted – which can sometimes last for hours! 1. But there is one key difference that makes them relatively elusive in the Galápagos: their propensity to hunt at night and sleep amid rocky crevices during the day. They stand proud at just below a meter and have temperaments a lot more gentle and docile than the others. Understand what makes these Islands so special with our range of interesting information and trivia. The first habitants of the islands: It is presumed that tortoises arrived floating with the ocean currents, while iguanas and other small animals possibly latched onto tree trunks or other natural rafts and were dropped by the currents as well. Pink land iguanas rank among the archipelago’s most elusive creatures; their habitat spans just 15 square miles across the slopes of the active Wolf Volcano on Isla Isabela. 24. Here are 11 awesome native animals … Aside from this beguiling balloon-like feature, the frigatebird’s glide gives it away. Here’s what to look for: The Galapagos fur seal has a short snout, but sea lions have a longer snout Fur seals, as the name would suggest, have a very thick coat Sea lions prefer to lay in the sun, whereas fur seals prefer the shade Most Galapagos fur seals live on Fernandina and Isabela islands… Sadly, one of the only animals in the Galapagos Islands to be fearful of people. Following is the list of 10 Endemic Animals of Galapagos Islands. Going on a Galapagos tour is like walking into a David Attenborough documentary! They can weigh up to a hefty 417 kg – the largest recorded being nearly 6 feet long! The Galapagos Islands: facts, animals & travel bloggers The Galapagos National Park. View all tours to the Galapagos Islands here. Facts of Galapagos Islands. Penguins, fur seals, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, hawks—the list is endless. You won’t spot just one, or even a handful: you’re likely to come upon literal heaps of them, piled on top of one another in an attempt to stay warm. And the animals here are not your ordinary type – they are very unique, many you can only find in this part of the world. Sadly, one of the only animals in the Galapagos Islands to be fearful of people. They crawl along the bottom of the ocean on pectoral and pelvic fins, searching for prey. 22. Other birds need to guard their supplies around them as they have a tendency to steal! For many visitors to the Galapagos Islands, it’s … Learn Galapagos Islands facts with NatGeo Expeditions. Scholastic and the American Museum of Natural History teamed up to offer students the “Animals, Adaptation, and the Galápagos Islands” project (grades 3–10). Remarkably, they are the only Cormorant in the world to lose its ability to fly. Roxy is part of the marketing team for Tucan Travel. Horribly, they are widely hunted, nearing extinction. Travelers from all across the globe come here to spot the islands’ incredible variety of endemic animals. Compared to other penguin subspecies, these are pretty unique. Legend has it that the name “Galápago” comes from the old Spanish word for “saddle,” which refers to the big old saddles tortoises wear on their backs. (April 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template messageThis is a list of animals that live in the Galápagos Islands They’re so famous that the islands are named after these grand animals. The Galapagos Batfish is actually not much of a swimmer! They are the smallest of all small-eared seals, with the females only reaching 1.2 meters. Being so playful and inquisitive, these cute animals are often compared to pet dogs! A cruise to the famed Galapagos Islands is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a mecca for wildlife buffs. The Galapagos finches or the Darwin’s finches are perhaps the most famous fauna inhabiting … Another vibrant avian beauty, flamingos are among the rare Galápagos creatures that show shyness around humans. You can find her on LinkedIn. As mentioned above, Galapagos has its own uniqueness including the animals inhabit there. A great way to make your way around the Galapagos archipelago, spotting wildlife is with a tour. She has been travelling solo for years, predominantly around Asia, Indonesia and Europe. And the animals here are not your ordinary type – they are very unique, many you can only find in this part of the world. The Galapagos Islands are home to the largest living species of tortoise in the world. Normally a dark black colour but in mating season that all changes. Read our top 10 interesting facts about the UNESCO awarded Galapagos Islands. Octopi are masters of disguise, possessing the ability to change colors—and even textures—to match their surroundings. The iguanas turn red and black on Santa Cruz, pinky-red and dull green on Fernandina, and on Española and Floreana they turn a brilliant bright green and red! Click here to see our tours. So of course the number one reason for visiting these little dots of paradise is to see the animals. Galápagos Wildlife: Common Sightings and Rare Finds, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/expeditions/get-inspired/galapagos/animals-wildlife-of-the-galapagos-islands.html. But the best sightings often happen underwater, where these curious creatures are prone to playing with snorkelers and divers. 17% of Galapagos fish species are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. Enjoy our fun Galapagos Islands facts for kids. Thinking about a trip to the Galapagos Islands? Galapagos land iguana in rock formation Sea lion, Galapagos penguin, Giant tortoise, Great white shark, Leatherback turtle, Sei whale Two types of frigatebird can be found across the archipelago—the great and the magnificent—and males from both species sport a resplendent red throat pouch during the mating season. Plants and Animals Because the Galápagos are so isolated, the plants and animals found there are very unusual. To give one illustration, the Amazon is home to over three hundred species of reptiles: Galapagos has only iguanas, tortoises, lava lizards, geckos and snakes. Cactus forests grow in the dry lowlands, while the uplands are covered with thick, moist vegetation, such as ferns and mosses. Ninety-seven percent of the islands are a national park and half of the land species (and one fifth of the marine species) are endemic to the Galapagos. Their black feathers have an iridescent purple tint when sparkling in the sun. Galápagos giant tortoise numbers are on the rise in the archipelago. To maximize your chances, visit during the hatching season (between December and April). Once hunted by pirates and whalers for ship sustenance, Galápagos giant tortoises are staging a comeback in the archipelago, thanks to captive breeding efforts conducted by the locally based Charles Darwin Research Station. Horribly, they are widely hunted, nearing extinction. The Galápagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is endemic to the islands of the Galapagos and is... 3. The Galapagos Tortoise Marine Iguanas. Galapagos Penguins Over 400 species of fish have been recognized in the Galapagos, with 41 species unique to the islands. The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, 575 mi west of Ecuador, South America, and are a territory of Ecuador. Only a few hundred live throughout the islands, and to … The Sally Lightfoot Crabs feed (as scavengers) on a variety of algae, fresh or dead animals. Galapagos marine iguana swimming The frigatebird can soar for hours without a single wing flap. The islands offer you the chance to see many fascinating species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Though large Galapagos Sharks can be aggressive, the smaller ones we have seen while snorkeling were among the most human-shy of all the Galapagos Islands animals. To appreciate Charles Darwin, who researched Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin Foundation was established in Belgium at 1959 to protect and preserve Galapagos. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Your email address will not be published. Galapagos Islands Animals 1. She has been travelling solo for years, predominantly around Asia, Indonesia and Europe. They are often found lazing in the sun on the the white sandy beaches, earning top-spot for the most photogenic animal found on the Galapagos Islands! Going on a Galapagos tour is like walking into a David Attenborough documentary! The Magnificent Frigate Bird definitely lives up to its name – the males especially! A marine bird which only lands to breed but is regularly seen on the Galapagos Islands. They are the smallest of all small-eared seals, with the females only reaching 1.2 meters. Some tortoises live to be well over 150 years old! Engaging interactive activities use Charles Darwin’s historic trip to challenge students to think like a scientist. Amazingly, they can spend years at sea without reaching land, but come to Espanola to mate. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A very loyal bird, they mate for life. They’ve been caught snatching food from others mouths and even eating their newly born chicks! They are often found lazing in the sun on the the white sandy beaches, earning top-spot for the most photogenic animal found on the Galapagos Islands! As the name suggests, these distinctive birds have bright blue feet! Read about some of the other creatures you could see on one of our trips to the Galápagos. This archipelago is part of Ecuador and is famous for its giant tortoises. Required fields are marked *. Needless to say, the Flightless Cormorant is quite an odd bird! It is basically located in the West Coast of South America. Like a lot of Galapagos animals, they have an abundance of food and no predators, so they have no fear or reason to flee. It is also the largest bat normally found in Canada.The Hoary Bat averages 13 to 14.5 centimetres (5 to 5.7 inches) long with a 40 centimetre (15.7 inches) wingspan and a weight of 26 grams (0.9 ounces). Some of the most famous animals on the islands are the Galapagos tortoises. Compared to the enormity of the Amazon Basin, Galapagos is a very small archipelago lost far out in the ocean. The swallow-tailed gull (Creagrus furcatus) breeds primarily on Wolf, Genovesa, and Esapanola Islands in the Galapagos. The Galapagos archipelago is perhaps one of the most bio-diverse places on earth. One of the largest birds in South America and the biggest in the Galapagos, the Waved Albatross has a wingspan of 2.5 meters! Interesting Galapagos Islands facts: some people speculate that marine iguanas inspired the tales told... Galapagos Penguins. They've captivated visitors since Charles Darwin visited in 1835, but how much do you really know? Giant tortoises were once so abundant that Spanish explorers named the islands for them. A cruise to the famed Galapagos Islands is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a mecca for wildlife buffs. Lava Lizard They are true giants! 6. Visiting the Galápagos Islands is like walking into the middle of a wildlife documentary. A ubiquitous mascot of the Galápagos, sea lions make their presence known throughout the archipelago and are particularly charming when you happen upon them communing with humans on settled isles. Their W-shaped wingspan makes flying a breeze, and you can watch them for hours as they weave and hover high overhead without so much as a single flap. If you want to see more of South America, why not look at one of our tours which combine Peru and the Galapagos or even Peru, Colombia and the Galapagos Islands? This is near the top of my list!! There are 6 subspecies of Marine Iguanas, each one living on a different island. Take a look at our pick of the weird and wonderful Galapagos Islands animals that have perfectly adapted to island life. These penguins are the only one of their species to live in a tropical climate, north of the equator. The Sally Lightfoot crab's rainbow shell makes it no easier to catch. Meet the best dressed bird in the Galapagos! In the Galápagos, they frequent both coral reefs and the tidepools that form among seaside rocks; but you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled to spot these sneaky cephalopods. When you plunge at them, they seem to disappear in a puff of blue smoke.”. These rainbow beauties hang out in the surf on most islands, and while they may be easy to spot against achromatic sands, getting close is a different story. The archipelagos consists of 20 islands with only 4 being inhabited. Facts Continent Thanks for the info! A red-footed boobie finds a perch on National Geographic Expeditions traveler. These scale clad reptiles are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. Choose from a 7 or 8 day cruise that focuses on either the North, East, South or West islands, or chose a more in depth 11 day tour to take in more of the archipelagos. A small number of birds also breed on Malpelo Island off the coast of Colombia. Giant Tortoises. Galapagos Animals . Not all iguanas in the Galapagos... 3. Your email address will not be published. Having no predators in the Galapagos means they have no reason to fly away! These pretty little sea lions are only found on the Galapagos. They alternately lift each blue foot and strut around the female, trying hard to grab her attention. If you hurry, they hurry. Outside of the breeding season, the swallow-tailed gull is a pelagic, nocturnal seabird. You can spot the fur seal on most Galapagos Islands sunbathing on the rocky shores. Perhaps this is due to over-fishing and poaching for their fins, which– when combined with their slow reproductive rate– has landed the species on the IUCN’s Near Threatened list. 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. Galápagos tortoises are among the world’s longest-lived animals. The Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus) is a ‘hairy-tailed bat’ that is resident on the Galapagos Islands. They now roam freely across several islands, and are most likely to be spotted on a trip into the highlands of Isla Santa Cruz. Many say that these islands are a bird-watchers paradise. The unique species found here are perfect examples of nature’s bizarre solutions to evolution. All rights reserved. You’ll spot them napping on public benches, lolling about on beaches, and begging for scraps at the local fish market. Animals Colorful Animals Pet Birds Galapagos Islands Animals Galapagos Crab Weird Animals Animals Wild Marine Iguana 22 Sally Lightfoot Crab Facts: Guide to Galapagos's Grapsus grapsus Sally lightfoot crabs are reddish-orange with a baby blue underbelly. It was visiting the Galapagos that inspired Charles Darwin to create the Theory of Evolution! With the red-lipped pout of a Hollywood star, it is speculated that these lips have evolved to lure in mates under the sea. Galapagos Iguana These are the facts we can only find in Galapagos: 1. These pretty little sea lions are only found on the Galapagos. Can be found diving all over, but prefer Fernandina and Isabela. You can find her on LinkedIn here. See amazing footage of wild Galápagos tortoises in the video below: In the mating season, their red throat pouches puff up to an incredible size, attempting to attract a mate. Like a lot of Galapagos animals, they have an abundance of food and no predators, so they have no fear or reason to flee. Apart from a few small differences, they are very similar to the Galapagos Sea Lion – most notably their thick fur coat. Adaptation, evolution, endemism and fearlessness are probably the concepts that best describe the only animals that complement the natural magic of the Galapagos Islands. 21. The archipelagos consists of 20 islands with only 4 being inhabited. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. The Galápagos Islands are a group of 19 islands and more than 100 islets and rocks in the Pacific Ocean, about 1,000km off the coast of Ecuador in South America. There are three species of snakes in Galapagos and all are endemic to the islands. 2. If you have seen photos of the Galápagos Islands before, you likely already know that the Galápagos are famous for their giant tortoises. Their escapist abilities are so legendary, John Steinbeck once wrote of them: “If you walk slowly, they move slowly ahead of you in droves. Galápagos tortoises are some of the largest tortoises, being a similar size to the only other living species of giant tortoise, the Aldabra giant tortoise. Tucan Travel offer a range of Galapagos Island tours that begin in Quito, Ecuador. If you come toward the end of that span, you might even see hatchlings emerging from their eggs. Five Astounding Animal Adaptations in the Galapagos Islands By Matt Kareus Pretty much everyone knows by now that the strange creatures that Charles Darwin encountered in the Galapagos Islands in the early 19th century played a crucial role in the development of his world-changing theory of evolution by natural selection. The Galapagos Islands are a living laboratory where most of the animals and birds have no fear of man. Galapagos Islands is considered as home to some of the astonishing and breath-taking wildlife in the world. In fact, these animals helped Darwin develop his theory of evolution. However, the fauna of the Galapagos Islands is much more extensive. There are only 1000 left on the Galapagos Islands and are now one of the rarest birds in the world. Only a few hundred live throughout the islands, and to spot one you’ll have to venture inland, to one of the brackish lagoons where they feed on crustaceans—the food that gives the birds their pink plumage. During the day, marine iguanas—the world’s only oceangoing lizards—sun themselves on the rocky shores of most Galápagos isles, absorbing heat in preparation for their scavenging trips out to sea. Galapagos Land Iguana – Galapagos Animals Fur seals are a close cousin to the sea lion, primarily distinguished by their smaller size, thicker coats, and the shapes of their ears, eyes, and snouts. Marine iguanas,... 2. A large number of unique animal species are present in this dynamic island. Did you know that the islands are named after the Galapagos tortoise? 1. At 30cm in length and with a large pair of venomous jaws, the endemic centipede (Scolopendra galapagoensis) is among the Islands' most feared animals . tours which combine Peru and the Galapagos, Heading in to the Jungle : Zoe’s Gorilla Adventure. The isles are mainly well known for their wildlife, flightless birds, giant reptiles and wild plant life which play a major part in the earths ecosystem. A great way to make your way around the Galapagos archipelago, spotting wildlife is with a tour. They typically live for over 100 years in the wild. The Galapagos Islands are a bird watcher’s paradise. Another vibrant avian beauty, flamingos are among the rare Galápagos creatures that show shyness around humans. Try spotting them from Zodiacs as you cruise by the western isles’ coastal cliffs, or watch for them as they fish under the light of your ship late at night. This bird has black and brown feathers, piercing blue eyes, a deep growling voice and wings that are too small to fly. Roxy is part of the marketing team for Tucan Travel. Animals of the Galapagos Islands The abundance of friendly and plentiful wildlife makes the Galapagos Islands a perfect destination for animal lovers. 10 unique animals of the Galapagos Islands. It’s not uncommon to see several sea turtles while snorkeling or kayaking in the Galápagos—certain bays are teeming with them. The Waved Albatross is famous for their courtship ritual, which includes rapid beak clacking and the emitting of some funny “whoo-hoo” noises. There are more than 400 species of fish and an abundance of mammals found solely on the Galapagos Islands. Marine Iguana With about 200 left in existence, the species hovers on the brink of extinction and is especially vulnerable due to the volcanic activity in its ecosystem. Located in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands are almost 620 miles from the American continent. Galapagos Tortoises 2. A Galapagos tour is a great chance to get up close and personal with rare animals – they are completely fearless and won’t even look twice when you approach to grab that money shot! They are thought to weigh in the region of 250-250kg, and live longer than any other animal on the planet. But in mating season, their red throat pouches puff up to its name – the males especially being. Be well over 150 years old consists of 20 Islands with only 4 being inhabited their species live. Gives it away the middle of a Hollywood star, it is speculated that these Islands so with! 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