Galapagos Islands Facts
Collectively, the Galapagos Islands are a worldwide unique paradise with exotic wildlife. No wonder people from all over the planet visit this UNESCO world heritage site. If you are planning to visit this exceptional destination, we have create these 5 facts to help you learn more before you arrive on a Galapagos Island Tour.
The most emblematic species of the Island
the Galapagos tortoise
Everybody knows these natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands, the giant tortoises. These are the reason why the island is known by this name. Galapagos is Spanish and means ‘large tortoise’.
Did you already know that these giants can live up to 150 years? And that they can store food and water very efficiently, or that they can survive up to one year without any food or water?
one of the most biodiverse places on the planet
The 97 percent of the islands are a national park. Throughout this most parts of the islands are uninhabited by people and because of that it’s home to a lot of different species of animals, including the famous blue-ooted booby, the Northern penguins, and hawks.
And the most fascinating part is that you couldn’t find more than 20% of the marine species on any other place on earth. Furthermore 97% of reptiles and 80% of the land birds are endemic there!
The marine iguanas – lizards who can swim
These lizards have a unique skill: They are the only lizards in the world that can swim. You have the possibility to find them on the Galapagos Islands. All in all there are seven different living species of these lava lizards in the Galapagos. Additionally, they are able to change their color in a threatening situation, andthey can live for up to 10 years.
A three – way tectonic plate junction
The islands are located 1000 kilometers away from the coast of Ecuador. They were formed 5 million years ago through tectonic activity on the seabed. Located nearby are the islands at the northern edge of the Nazca plate. This is also the reason why there are many volcanic eruptions to this day. The archipelago continues to grow by creating more and more Galapagos Islands. All in all they are made up of 13 major islands, 40 islets in the Pacific Ocean, and 6 minor islands.
Charles Darwin did not discoverthe islands
Although many people think that Charles Darwin discovered the island, this is not true. Fray Tomas de Berlanga was the first explorer and discovered the islands in the year of 1535 when he wasdiverted from his destination to Peru.
Darwin, on the other hand, landed on the islands in September 1835 and had great influences over the islands. As a result,the Charles Darwin Station was built on the islands.
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