The Galapagos Islands are renowned throughout the world for the diverse and exotic portfolio of wildlife that the islands have to offer. Whales, dolphins, turtles, seals and tropic birds are all magnificent creatures that can be found on and around the Galapagos, but the islands boast some animals even more highly coveted, and here are seven of them to look out for on your Galapagos holiday.
First to make the list is the Blue-footed booby, the long winged seabird known for its distinctive blue feet. The blue-footed booby’s natural breeding habitats are the tropical and subtropical islands of the Pacific Ocean with about one half of breeding pairs nesting on the Galapagos Islands.
Next is the Giant tortoise, of which the Galapagos are home to eleven different subspecies. These enormous beings can grow as large as 1.3 metres long and can weigh almost half a ton! They have a lifespan of around 100 years, with the most famous giant tortoise being Lonesome George, the last Pinta Tortoise in existence, who died in 2012 aged 102.
Perhaps the only resident of the Galapagos that epitomise the islands as much as the indigenous tortoises are the Darwin finches. Discovered by Charles Darwin during his voyage on HMS Beagle, the finches from the Galapagos Islands are partially responsible for the discovery of the theory of evolution and can still be found there to this day.
Unique to the Galapagos Islands, Marine iguanas are the only modern lizard to inhabit the seaas a marine reptile. They can grow up to three feet long and are an essential animal to look for on your Galapagos cruise, such as those provided by http://www.steppestravel.co.uk/galapagos-islands
Flightless cormorants are another creature exclusively located on the Galapagos Islands. Due to engorgement over time – similar to that of the giant tortoises – the cormorants on the Galapagos have lost the ability to fly. They can be found on just two islands: Isabella and Fernandina making them one of the rarer species on this list.
Arguably the most sinister appearance on the list, the vampire finch is one of the 15 species of Darwin’s finches exclusive to the Galapagos. The vampire finch is iconic in that it inherits its name from its unusual feeding habits. The finches occasionally feed by drinking the blood of other birds on the island, mainly the blue-footed boobies and Nazca, drawing blood by pecking away at their skin with their sharp beaks.