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Galapagos Islands

Galapagos wildlife

The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world. But the wildlife that inspired naturalist Charles Darwin's theory of evolution are under threat. The Islands have a wide array of endemic fauna, invertebrates, birds, reptiles and a few mammals, which are native to the islands rather than introduced. The Galapagos Tortoise is the most well known of all the endemic creatures. These giant tortoises, all of which are endangered due to hunting and introduced species, include 11 subspecies adapted to the terrain of their island home.

The cool waters of the Humboldt Current, originating in the Antarctic and flowing northward along South America, veers away from the coast just south of the equator and sweeps directly into the Galapagos. Especially during the garua season from June to December, the Humboldt brings rich food source for sea-going mammals such as sea lions and whales. The southerly origins of the Humboldt also explains the presence of the archetypal Antarctic genus, penguins, in the equatorial Galapagos.




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