How to Get to the Galapagos Islands. Lizards, iguanas, turtles, sea lions, and finches, are some animals that live on the Galapagos islands. The islands were discovered in 1535, but were vacant of humans until the 1800s due to their inhospitable terrain. New discoveries. Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis nigra) are the world’s largest species of tortoise that are alive today. They are located in the Pacific Ocean, about 926 km west of Ecuador. Galapagos Marine Iguanas are endemic to the Galapagos Islands, having the ability to sustain themselves on land and in the sea. 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. Both cities can easily be reached with direct flights from the United States. 1790s - Several scientific voyages to the Galapagos Islands were made during this decade. Visiting the Galápagos Islands is like walking into the middle of a wildlife documentary. Travelers from all across the globe come here to spot the islands’ incredible variety of endemic animals. The Galapagos Islands make a wonderful place to visit, and many people each year take a Galapagos Islands cruise or land-based Galapagos tour to get to see the wildlife and enjoy the unusual volcanic scenery. The … The abundance of friendly and plentiful wildlife makes the Galapagos Islands a perfect destination for animal lovers. The natural value of the Galapagos Islands does not lie in diversity: in fact, it's just the opposite. They are true giants! All the species of giant tortoises found in the Galapagos are native to the islands, but all evolved from a common ancestor which journeyed from the mainland to arrive at the islands around 2 to 3 million years ago. You will, however, likely encounter the playful sea lions or fur seals when you snorkel or witness the majestic whales and agile dolphins surging out of the water alongside your yacht. Getting to the Galapagos Islands requires flying into either Quito or Guayaquil, the biggest cities in mainland Ecuador. Galapagos has a very beautiful scenery. 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! Yet there are many fascinating facts about the Galapagos Islands that some people may be unaware of either before, or perhaps even after their visit. Read our top 10 interesting facts about the UNESCO awarded Galapagos Islands. The islands have a fantastic history filled with explorers, pirates, and sailors. Galápagos tortoise facts, pictures and information. They are thought to weigh in the region of 250-250kg, and live longer than any other animal on the planet. The movie Captain and Commander was filmed on the islands of Bartholomew and Santiago. This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. The Galapagos Fur Seal. 2. Due to the uniqueness of the islands and ocean waters there are vast numbers of endemic species including: Galapagos land iguanas, marine iguana (the only iguana that feed in the sea), sea cucumbers, flightless cormorant, blue-footed booby, Galapagos mockingbirds, Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos hawk, great Frigatebird, waved Albatross, and over 50 species of fish. Here, we run through some facts … 1. 1832 - Ecuador annexed the Galapagos Islands. In the 1920s, European and North American settlers began to arrive, as well as Ecuadorians who came to fish and farm. Welcome to Galapagos Conservancy, the only U.S. nonprofit exclusively dedicated to the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. These tortoises are native to the two islands namely Galapagos and Aldabra coral atoll. The group of islands consists of 18 main islands, 3 small islands, and 107 rocks and islets. They've captivated visitors since Charles Darwin visited in 1835, but how much do you really know? Over 600 miles from continental Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are home to few native mammals. Being so playful and inquisitive, these cute animals are often compared to pet dogs! (April 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template messageThis is a list of animals that live in the Galápagos Islands ; There are 18 major islands in the chain and over 100 smaller islands, covering an area of about 8,000 km. Enjoy our fun Galapagos Islands facts for kids. 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. Find out more about the largest tortoise in the world & one of the longest-living animals. In 1978 UNESCO designated Galapagos as the first World Heritage site. Interesting facts about Galapagos National Park. Galapagos Animals . Sadly, one of the only animals in the Galapagos Islands to be fearful of people. Because of a large number of endemic animals, specific climatic conditions on different islands and isolation from the outside world, he could systematically study the impact of specific factors on the morphology […] The Galapagos are a series of tropical islands found 550 miles (900 km) off Ecuador’s coast. Click for more kids facts and information or download the worksheet collection. Since his initial visit to the archipelago, countless tourists have visited these remarkable shores. The Galápagos Islands are famous because of the scientist Charles Darwin.After studying the plants and animals on the islands in the 1800s, Darwin developed his theory of evolution.The theory, which explains how living things change over time, changed the science of biology forever. Understand what makes these Islands so special with our range of interesting information and trivia. The Galapagos archipelago is perhaps one of the most bio-diverse places on earth. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. ; The name 'galapagos', an old Spanish word for 'saddle', was originally used by Bishop Tomas and his crew to describe the giant tortoises but the name stuck. One of the greatest aspects of a trip to the "Enchanted Isles," from a visitor’s point of view, is the fact that the animals living in the Galapagos are extremely tolerant of our presence; in fact, they have no natural fear of humans and allow us to approach them at close range. The Galapagos Islands became famous after Charles Darwin landed there to study the animals of these islands and postulate the theory of evolution. The most famous […] Practical Facts About the Galapagos Islands 27. On this page, you will find a detailed description of all species, including the information on which islands and spots they can be observed and which tours connect to these spots at which date. One important but fun fact about Galapagos Islands is that it is home to the endangered but unfearful wildlife, which can get the visitors some of the rarest animals on the planet. The Galapagos Islands are home to world’s only ocean-swimming lizard, the Galapagos … This island is also home to many rare and unique animals. The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands located 563 miles (906 km) directly west of Ecuador. Straddling the equator, islands in the chain are located in both the northern and southern hemispheres, with Volcán Wolf and Volcán Ecuador on Isla Isabela being directly on the equator. Home to incredible wildlife, see some amazing animals, iconic scenery, and beautiful beaches. 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. Believe it or not, the Galapagos Islands … The islands are found at the coordinates 1°40'N–1°36'S, 89°16'–92°01'W. Some of the most famous animals on the islands are the Galapagos tortoises. Many of the animals inhabiting the Galagagos islands are utterly fearless, allowing visitors to get extremely close to some of the worlds most endangered species. He was largely inspired by the incredible endemic species – like the Galapagos Islands flamingos. This huge expanse of inhospitable ocean in-between makes it very difficult for new kinds of plants and animals to reach the islands. 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. Once thought to be a single species, the tortoises of the Galápagos Islands are now considered to be several different species. In fact, the islands are actually named after these creatures, "Galapagos" is an old Spanish word, no longer used, meaning tortoise. The Galapagos Islands are a small island chain, known for their unique wildlife. The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s favorite travel destinations. Situated off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are famously where Charles Darwin developed his theory of natural selection. Learn Galapagos Islands facts with NatGeo Expeditions. The Galapagos islands have a low biodiversity (that is, few animal species), because the islands are 600 miles (1000 km) from the continent. The Galapagos Marine Reserve covers 133,000 square kilometres. Click here to read more! Penguins, fur seals, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, hawks—the list is endless. The size and shape of animals living in the Galapagos is not like ordinary animals. The seven of the total islands in Galapagos Islands are occupied by these tortoises. Some tortoises live to be well over 150 years old! It's very unique and larger than similar animals. Adaptation, evolution, endemism and fearlessness are probably the concepts that best describe the only animals that complement the natural magic of the Galapagos Islands. Galapagos is a harsh, remote land, and the species that arrived there did not survive by diversifying, but rather by evolving specific traits to suit a certain niche in the environment. Here are some facts about the Galapagos Islands. 1835 - The HMS Beagle under the command of captain Robert FitzRoy brought Charles Darwin to the islands where he studied the natural history of the islands, its flora, and its animal inhabitans. An overview of the Galapagos Wildlife. In 2009, the Galapagos pink iguana (Conolophus rosada) was officially described as a separate species of Galapagos land iguana.There are less than 100 individuals left meaning that they are a critically endangered species. You can get to see them without worrying if you’re going to get hurt by the animals because they’re all kept in a secure place where you can watch them. The reptile is found in many places in the archipelago; with colonies at the end of Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz, Fernandina and Isabela Islands. With more than 400 species of fish and an abundance of wildlife in the Galapagos, there is certainly plenty to see. This reserve, which lies a thousand kilometres from the Ecuadorian mainland was set up in 1998 to protect the waters around the Galapagos Islands and the many species of animals and fish that live there. Help us preserve, protect, and restore Galapagos. 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