Journey to the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, 972 km west of Ecuador, consisting of 13 major volcanic islands. The islands are known primarily for the large number of local species of fauna and the research carried out here by Charles Darwin, which served as the first impetus for the creation of an evolutionary theory of the origin of species.
It is believed that the first island was formed 5-10 million years ago as a result of tectonic activity.
This is a representative of the Street View service from Google (Google Street View), which allows us to see panoramic views of the streets of many cities in the world from a height of about 2.5 meters. This time the service got to the Galapagos. Photo AP Photo | Google):
The Galapagos Islands got their name from the giant sea turtles living on them, in Spanish called in the plural “galápagos” - “water turtles”.
This is a green sea turtle. It is large, shell length from 80 to 150 cm, weight - from 70 to 200 kg, very rarely reaches a length of 200 cm and a mass of 400-500 kg. (Photo by Pablo Cozzaglio | AFP | Getty Images):
The Galapagos Islands were officially opened in March 1535 by a Spanish-born priest Thomas de Berlanga, who traveled by ship from Panama to Peru, but accidentally deviated from the intended path.
Galapagos sea lions. (Photo © Google, Inc.):
Sombrero Chino Island, it is located on the southeastern tip of the island of San Salvado. (Photo AP Photo | Dolores Ochoa):
The giant turtles of the Galapagos Islands can weigh up to 250 kg and live for more than 100 years. This one crosses the road on the island of Santa Cruz. (Photo by Reuters | Jorge Silva):
In 1978, the islands were declared World Heritage by UNESCO, and in 1985 - a reserve of the world biosphere.
Island Leon-Dormido ("Sleeping Lion"). (Photo © Google, Inc.):
Interestingly, on the islands there are practically no sources of fresh water. (Photo AP Photo | Google):
The archipelago is famous for its flora and fauna. A large number of inhabitants of the archipelago are endemics (they exist only here). And here is one of them.
The marine iguana is an iguana that lives exclusively on the Galapagos Islands. It has a unique ability among modern lizards to spend most of its time at sea.
The symbol of the Galapagos Islands is the Blue-footed booby. (Photo by Nicolas de Camaret):
Of the 40,000 pairs, about half live in the Galapagos Islands, where blue-footed booby is protected by law. Blue legs of males in the period of overcurrent play a significant role. Females prefer a male with legs painted blue and neglect a male whose legs look gray-blue. (Photo by Michael McCullough):
Sea lion. In nature, sea lion voices are a hoarse roar. (Photo by Mark Rowland):
Marine iguana. On the shore, the lizard basks in the sun, holding onto the stones with the help of powerful claws. Black coloring helps to warm up. (Photo AP Photo | Dolores Ochoa):
Whale shark. The largest of the currently existing species of sharks, as well as the largest of modern fish. Its size often exceeds 10 m, there are data on 18-meter and even 20-meter specimens. The whale shark is difficult to confuse with other fish - besides its enormous size, it is distinguished by its characteristic appearance. The whale shark has a powerful and fat body, the head is relatively small. The shape of the head is very peculiar - it is very flattened. (Photo by AP Photo | The Galapagos National Park of Ecuador):
And the Google Street View project continues to shoot local panoramas. (Photo AP Photo | Google):
Active thyroid volcano Cerro Azul (Spanish: Cerro Azul, "blue hill") on the island of Isabela.(Photo by Reuters | Parque Nacional Galapagos):
It's amazing how sea iguanas can hang on sheer cliffs and rocks. (Photo by Mark Rowland):
This wonderful crater on the island of Bainbridge in the Galapagos Islands. The island is frequented by flamingos. (Photo AP Photo | Dolores Ochoa):
Darwin is the main star and hero of the Galapagos. On all the islands there is a street named after him, several monuments and busts of the scientist have been installed. For example, this monument is located on the island of San Cristobal. (Photo © Google, Inc.):
A flock of fish near the island of Floreana. (Photo © Google, Inc.):
The magnificent frigate is a rather large bird, its size can be up to 1 m, and the wingspan is from 215 to 230 cm. The males have a red throat bag that inflates like a balloon during the mating season. (Photo AP Photo | Kim Gamel):
Fields of ferns on the island of Isabela. (Photo AP Photo | Google):
Lava in the bay of Salivan, the island of Santiago. (Photo by Lieutenant Elizabeth Crapo, NOAA Corps):
Magnificent frigates in flight. (Photo zpics):
Little sea lion (Photo by Cynthia Perry):
There are very few natural predators in the Galapagos Islands. One of the major local predators is the Galapagos Buzzard. It is an endemic species of the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador, inhabiting open fields, coast, forests and mountains:
Lava field, Isabella island. (Photo by Google, Inc.):
In hammerhead sharks, the streamlined body and head with protuberances are characteristic of hammerhead sharks. The average length of a hammerhead shark is 3.5 m and its weight is over 230 kg. It is an active predator. (Photo by Reuters | Jorge Silva):
The eye of the iguana. (Photo AP Photo | Dolores Ochoa):
Mangroves on Isabella Island. (Photo © Google, Inc.):
Conolophus (lat. Conolophus) is a genus of iguanas living exclusively on the Galapagos Islands. Close relatives of sea iguanas, but differ from them by a more extended head, a short, awkward body with a weakly pronounced dorsal crest. All species are listed in the International Red Book. (Photo by Susan Roehl):
Goodbye Galapagos Islands and their inhabitants.