At 30cm in length and with a large pair of venomous jaws, the endemic centipede (Scolopendra galapagoensis) is among the Islands' most feared animals . Cactus forests grow in the dry lowlands, while the uplands are covered with thick, moist vegetation, such as ferns and mosses. See amazing footage of wild Galápagos tortoises in the video below: Galapagos Islands is considered as home to some of the astonishing and breath-taking wildlife in the world. Adaptation, evolution, endemism and fearlessness are probably the concepts that best describe the only animals that complement the natural magic of the Galapagos Islands. Compared to other penguin subspecies, these are pretty unique. 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. Located in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands are almost 620 miles from the American continent. Facts Continent Thinking about a trip to the Galapagos Islands? Some of the most famous animals on the islands are the Galapagos tortoises. The Galapagos Islands: facts, animals & travel bloggers The Galapagos National Park. Travelers from all across the globe come here to spot the islands’ incredible variety of endemic animals. The Galapagos Islands are a living laboratory where most of the animals and birds have no fear of man. Required fields are marked *. They alternately lift each blue foot and strut around the female, trying hard to grab her attention. 21. Their black feathers have an iridescent purple tint when sparkling in the sun. They are the smallest of all small-eared seals, with the females only reaching 1.2 meters. Galápagos giant tortoise numbers are on the rise in the archipelago. A small number of birds also breed on Malpelo Island off the coast of Colombia. The Galapagos Islands are home to the largest living species of tortoise in the world. It’s not uncommon to see several sea turtles while snorkeling or kayaking in the Galápagos—certain bays are teeming with them. Interesting Galapagos Islands facts: some people speculate that marine iguanas inspired the tales told... Galapagos Penguins. They are true giants! A cruise to the famed Galapagos Islands is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a mecca for wildlife buffs. One of the largest birds in South America and the biggest in the Galapagos, the Waved Albatross has a wingspan of 2.5 meters! Outside of the breeding season, the swallow-tailed gull is a pelagic, nocturnal seabird. 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. 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. Sadly, one of the only animals in the Galapagos Islands to be fearful of people. To maximize your chances, visit during the hatching season (between December and April). Giant Tortoises. Like a lot of Galapagos animals, they have an abundance of food and no predators, so they have no fear or reason to flee. Enjoy our fun Galapagos Islands facts for kids. Learn Galapagos Islands facts with NatGeo Expeditions. This archipelago is part of Ecuador and is famous for its giant tortoises. They crawl along the bottom of the ocean on pectoral and pelvic fins, searching for prey. Many say that these islands are a bird-watchers paradise. This is near the top of my list!! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. They can weigh up to a hefty 417 kg – the largest recorded being nearly 6 feet long! Galapagos land iguana in rock formation They typically live for over 100 years in the wild. 10 unique animals of the Galapagos Islands. Going on a Galapagos tour is like walking into a David Attenborough documentary! Penguins, fur seals, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, hawks—the list is endless. Galapagos marine iguana swimming Related to other Batfish species but endemic to the Galapagos Islands, this funky looking fish is very unique. 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. You’ll spot them napping on public benches, lolling about on beaches, and begging for scraps at the local fish market. Plants and Animals Because the Galápagos are so isolated, the plants and animals found there are very unusual. The islands offer you the chance to see many fascinating species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Compared to the enormity of the Amazon Basin, Galapagos is a very small archipelago lost far out in the ocean. Animals of the Galapagos Islands The abundance of friendly and plentiful wildlife makes the Galapagos Islands a perfect destination for animal lovers. The Sally Lightfoot crab's rainbow shell makes it no easier to catch. They are the smallest of all small-eared seals, with the females only reaching 1.2 meters. Understand what makes these Islands so special with our range of interesting information and trivia. Here are 11 awesome native animals … They now roam freely across several islands, and are most likely to be spotted on a trip into the highlands of Isla Santa Cruz. Apart from a few small differences, they are very similar to the Galapagos Sea Lion – most notably their thick fur coat. However, the fauna of the Galapagos Islands is much more extensive. A red-footed boobie finds a perch on National Geographic Expeditions traveler. Galápagos Wildlife: Common Sightings and Rare Finds, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/expeditions/get-inspired/galapagos/animals-wildlife-of-the-galapagos-islands.html. The Galapagos tortoise are best spotted on Santa Cruz but can easily be found on most islands. Their escapist abilities are so legendary, John Steinbeck once wrote of them: “If you walk slowly, they move slowly ahead of you in droves. For many visitors to the Galapagos Islands, it’s … A great way to make your way around the Galapagos archipelago, spotting wildlife is with a tour. These scale clad reptiles are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. Regular iguanas climb in trees and eat leaves. They stand proud at just below a meter and have temperaments a lot more gentle and docile than the others. Roxy is part of the marketing team for Tucan Travel. A large number of unique animal species are present in this dynamic island. 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. The Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus) is a ‘hairy-tailed bat’ that is resident on the Galapagos Islands. A cruise to the famed Galapagos Islands is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a mecca for wildlife buffs. Galapagos Finches A great way to make your way around the Galapagos archipelago, spotting wildlife is with a tour. Galapagos Tortoises 2. Having no predators in the Galapagos means they have no reason to fly away! 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. And the animals here are not your ordinary type – they are very unique, many you can only find in this part of the world. Facts of Galapagos Islands. So of course the number one reason for visiting these little dots of paradise is to see the animals. 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. Take a look at our pick of the weird and wonderful Galapagos Islands animals that have perfectly adapted to island life. They’re so famous that the islands are named after these grand animals. With brown wings and a white body and head, the contrast is striking. 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! A very loyal bird, they mate for life. And the animals here are not your ordinary type – they are very unique, many you can only find in this part of the world. Going on a Galapagos tour is like walking into a David Attenborough documentary! You can find her on LinkedIn here. 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. If you hurry, they hurry. Your email address will not be published. They've captivated visitors since Charles Darwin visited in 1835, but how much do you really know? All rights reserved. The archipelagos consists of 20 islands with only 4 being inhabited. With the red-lipped pout of a Hollywood star, it is speculated that these lips have evolved to lure in mates under the sea. In the mating season, their red throat pouches puff up to an incredible size, attempting to attract a mate. Not all iguanas in the Galapagos... 3. 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. 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. Marine iguanas,... 2. Other birds need to guard their supplies around them as they have a tendency to steal! The Galapagos archipelago is perhaps one of the most bio-diverse places on earth. There are more than 400 species of fish and an abundance of mammals found solely on the Galapagos Islands. 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. 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. 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. Being so playful and inquisitive, these cute animals are often compared to pet dogs! The Galapagos was discovered by Spaniards in 1535 who saw tortoises absolutely everywhere, so named the group of islands ‘Galapagos’ – Spanish for tortoise. 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. Only a few hundred live throughout the islands, and to … The Galapagos Islands are a bird watcher’s paradise. 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. The unique species found here are perfect examples of nature’s bizarre solutions to evolution. The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, 575 mi west of Ecuador, South America, and are a territory of Ecuador. Galapagos Islands Animals 1. Your email address will not be published. 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! These are the facts we can only find in Galapagos: 1. It is basically located in the West Coast of South America. If you visit the Galapagos Islands during mating season, you might get to see their spectacular dancing skills. Remarkably, they are the only Cormorant in the world to lose its ability to fly. Like a lot of Galapagos animals, they have an abundance of food and no predators, so they have no fear or reason to flee. 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. Horribly, they are widely hunted, nearing extinction. Following is the list of 10 Endemic Animals of Galapagos Islands. 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! Tucan Travel offer a range of Galapagos Island tours that begin in Quito, Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands National Park and Galapagos Marine Reserve protect the majority of... Galapagos Islands Wildlife. In fact, these animals helped Darwin develop his theory of evolution. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Marine Iguana They’ve been caught snatching food from others mouths and even eating their newly born chicks! Did you know that the islands are named after the Galapagos tortoise? The archipelagos consists of 20 islands with only 4 being inhabited. Galápagos tortoises are among the world’s longest-lived animals. 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. Octopi are masters of disguise, possessing the ability to change colors—and even textures—to match their surroundings. 24. Galapagos Iguana Galapagos Land Iguana – Galapagos Animals 23. 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. 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. Needless to say, the Flightless Cormorant is quite an odd bird! Galapagos Animals . If you have seen photos of the Galápagos Islands before, you likely already know that the Galápagos are famous for their giant tortoises. View all tours to the Galapagos Islands here. 17% of Galapagos fish species are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. 2. Galapagos Islands Facts. 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. You can spot the fur seal on most Galapagos Islands sunbathing on the rocky shores. 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. (April 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template messageThis is a list of animals that live in the Galápagos Islands From sea lions to marine iguanas, learn about the incredible array of biodiversity to be seen on a trip to the Galapagos Islands! Click here to see our tours. 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… Thanks for the info! 1. These penguins are the only one of their species to live in a tropical climate, north of the equator. Sea lion, Galapagos penguin, Giant tortoise, Great white shark, Leatherback turtle, Sei whale © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Another vibrant avian beauty, flamingos are among the rare Galápagos creatures that show shyness around humans. Being so playful and inquisitive, these cute animals are often compared to pet dogs! Sadly, one of the only animals in the Galapagos Islands to be fearful of people. 22. These pretty little sea lions are only found on the Galapagos. These pretty little sea lions are only found on the Galapagos. They are thought to weigh in the region of 250-250kg, and live longer than any other animal on the planet. There are three species of snakes in Galapagos and all are endemic to the islands. 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. The Galapagos Batfish is actually not much of a swimmer! 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! Horribly, they are widely hunted, nearing extinction. The swallow-tailed gull (Creagrus furcatus) breeds primarily on Wolf, Genovesa, and Esapanola Islands in the Galapagos. 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. Over 400 species of fish have been recognized in the Galapagos, with 41 species unique to the islands. The frigatebird can soar for hours without a single wing flap. Some tortoises live to be well over 150 years old! There are only 1000 left on the Galapagos Islands and are now one of the rarest birds in the world. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. Lava Lizard 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. 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. Meet the best dressed bird in the Galapagos! But the best sightings often happen underwater, where these curious creatures are prone to playing with snorkelers and divers. 6. As the name suggests, these distinctive birds have bright blue feet! 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). To appreciate Charles Darwin, who researched Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin Foundation was established in Belgium at 1959 to protect and preserve Galapagos. 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! This bird has black and brown feathers, piercing blue eyes, a deep growling voice and wings that are too small to fly. The Galapagos Tortoise Marine Iguanas. Galapagos Penguins The Magnificent Frigate Bird definitely lives up to its name – the males especially! Scholastic and the American Museum of Natural History teamed up to offer students the “Animals, Adaptation, and the Galápagos Islands” project (grades 3–10). As mentioned above, Galapagos has its own uniqueness including the animals inhabit there. When you plunge at them, they seem to disappear in a puff of blue smoke.”. 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. Aside from this beguiling balloon-like feature, the frigatebird’s glide gives it away. The Galápagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is endemic to the islands of the Galapagos and is... 3. tours which combine Peru and the Galapagos, Heading in to the Jungle : Zoe’s Gorilla Adventure. South America Species She has been travelling solo for years, predominantly around Asia, Indonesia and Europe. Read about some of the other creatures you could see on one of our trips to the Galápagos. It was visiting the Galapagos that inspired Charles Darwin to create the Theory of Evolution! Giant tortoises were once so abundant that Spanish explorers named the islands for them. The Sally Lightfoot Crabs feed (as scavengers) on a variety of algae, fresh or dead animals. The Galapagos finches or the Darwin’s finches are perhaps the most famous fauna inhabiting … Apart from a few small differences, they are very similar to the Galapagos Sea Lion – most notably their thick fur coat. Read our top 10 interesting facts about the UNESCO awarded Galapagos Islands. There are 6 subspecies of Marine Iguanas, each one living on a different island. Visiting the Galápagos Islands is like walking into the middle of a wildlife documentary. 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. Normally a dark black colour but in mating season that all changes. A marine bird which only lands to breed but is regularly seen on the Galapagos Islands. Can be found diving all over, but prefer Fernandina and Isabela. 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? The Waved Albatross is famous for their courtship ritual, which includes rapid beak clacking and the emitting of some funny “whoo-hoo” noises. 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. Roxy is part of the marketing team for Tucan Travel. You can find her on LinkedIn. 10. They aren’t very agile on land but are great swimmers and the only lizard in the world who can forage at sea! 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