Animals of the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are one of the wonders of the natural world. These remote islands are located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and are home to some of the most unique wildlife anywhere in the world. The giant tortoise reigns supreme the lack of natural predators has created a nature-lover’s paradise. When you tour the Galapagos Islands you will be surprised by the incredible up-close wildlife encounters. The opportunities for unbelievable photographs will make this an adventure you will never forget.

The Galapagos Tortoise: It’s hard not to fall in love with these funny, pre-historic creatures. All turtles on the islands belong to the group Geochelone elephant opus. They are divided into 14 sub-species (three of which are extinct); they are differentiated by the form and size of their shell as well as neck and extremities.

The Galapagos sea lion and fur seal: These beautiful creatures swim through the waters and waddle on land. Be sure not to touch the babies because the mother’s recognize their young by scent, and sun-screen, deodorant and human odors can camouflage the scent and the babies will be motherless.

The Marine Turtle: This graceful animal is amazing to watch while snorkeling or diving. The pacific green sea turtle is the only resident marine turtle of the Galapagos, they lay their eggs from December to June. Sometimes during these months you are able to get volunteer work with the Charles Darwin Research Station, counting nest and marking eggs, an amazing opportunity to get hands-on experience in the islands.

Iguanas: Marine iguanas are hard to miss you will be tripping over them as soon as you arrive. This is the only lizard in the world that lives in the ocean. It’s brilliant to see them when they are mating, as their black skin turns bright red when the iguanas want to attract a mate. The land iguana also is specific to the islands, they are spectacular to see. They prefer prickly pear cactus, standing on their hind legs to reach the flowering plant. Their tongue is leathery and they need not remove the spines from the cactus before ingesting it.

The island is famous for the great variety of birds, the cormorant, penguins, waved albatross not to mention boobies, frigate birds and the famous finches. After being there awhile it is fun to try to identify them.