Other Unique Species
Other Unique Species
Galapagos Islands are worldwide known for their majestic biodiversity, its nature is so unique that a lot of the species living here are endemic, this means they cannot be found in any other place on earth. The Ecuadorian islands are known as a “Laboratory of Evolution ” for their historical relevance as inspiration for naturalist Charles Darwin’s theories.
Galapagos fauna can be found almost at every corner of the Islands, if you don’t watch out you may accidentally step over a sleeping sea lion. When visiting the islands it is important to think about Galapagos conservation, strict regulations must be followed for the preservation of this incredible wildlife.
Some of the unique species you’ll encounter while visiting this natural paradise are:
Galapagos Sea Lion
These are the smallest species of sea lions, males weigh around 200kg and females around 75kg. They are experts in diving, reaching up to 1.900 feet under the sea. You can spot them on land, sunbathing on a shore near you, or you can visit them at sea where you can snorkel and watch them diving in the water and playing around. They are cute, curious and unafraid fellows.
Galapagos Fur Seal
Despite the word “seal” in their name, these animals are a type of sea lion, but they are not as friendly, they prefer remote areas. Their front flippers help them when climbing rocks in the coasts. This is the smallest of all seal species, they like to hunt at night and offshore, looking for fish and squid.They can be spotted mostly on Fernandina and the western side of Isabela.
Galapagos Giant Tortoise
The famous and iconic wildlife for which the Galapagos Archipelago is most known for is also the largest living tortoise species in the world: the Galapagos Giant Tortoise. It is said that the Spanish explorers that first came to the Islands named the archipelago after these fantastic creatures that inhabited the newly discovered land. This is an endangered species but breeding programs work for the preservation of this beautiful species.
This is one of the most spectacular species of the Galapagos Islands, the way they have adapted their bodies to endure the weather of this region amazes tourists and scientists alike. Marine iguanas arrived at Las Encantadas as terrestrial iguanas that later developed abilities to swim and feed on algae. They can be spotted all around the archipelago on shores or at sea.
Land iguanas are large, males weighing up to 30 pounds, at a first glance their sharp claws and long tail may seem scary but these herbivores are nice guys, who even share a symbiotic relationship with the islands’ finches, the birds remove ticks and parasites from the iguana. They live in the drier areas of the Islands and can be seen, mostly sunbathing, all around the archipelago.
Santa Fe Land Iguana
This is a very specific and unique type of iguana that can only be found at Santa Fe Island. This amazing lizard is hard to spot because the Santa Fe Land Iguana is a master of camouflage whose color blends perfectly with the Islands environment. They like to eat yellow Portulaca flowers, prickly cactus pears and bugs.