THE LIVING MUSEUM
The Galapagos islands are the most famous wildlife viewing destination in the entire world.It is a chance in a lifetime to watch the wild animals which are found only here which is also zoologist’s dreams.It is a home like place to numerous animals.It also has the richest marine ecosystem in the world with its volcanic lava flows,unique type of wild life and biological life.
The Galapagos Islands are located on the Pacific Ocean to the west of Ecuador of 600 miles which is situated in the western coast of South America.It is the most amazing natural park in an amazing place of 960 kilometers from the mainland. It is located at the merging of three oceans which makes it rich in its marine ecosystem.It consists of 13 major islands out of which there are nearly 40 islets,which are small islands.These are the volcanic islands present in the western coast.The independent islands may have its own type of lava flow.
The Galapagos islands are discovered by Charles Darwin at nearly 1835 who was collecting some plants and observing the life of plants and animals.Then,he did not experience the beauty of it but when reaching home,he began to reveal and understand its evolution that due to the island’s different climatic conditions,these animals adopt here.But according to history records,the islands were discovered in 1535 by a Spanish bishop - Fray Tomas de Berlanga who named this island for its amazing giant tortoises.
Both plant and animal life still exists there in those islands which are really an unique piece of nature.Ecuador is officially named as the Galapagos Archipelago in 1983 where the islands have a limited habitat of living people which later on was closed.
Life in Galapagos Islands:
The unique weather over there which accustoms some types of flora and fauna which are present nowhere in the world are really a beautiful sight for animal lovers.The best part is that the animals have tolerance part more than most of the animals present and they are fearless to humans and due to this,we can approach them closely.
Most of the animals here are originated from North,Central and South America.The unique and distinct array of animals are Land birds,California Sea lions.Land iguanas,giant tortoises,cormorants from different places
Some migratory birds change their destination to this place like Sea Birds which carry seeds in its feathers and digestive tracts.
The rich marine life is really a worth to watch with its nutrient,warm tropical water where the trips to Darwin and Wolf which is an exception to Diving which highlights the animals including Hammerheads,Manta Rays and Whale Sharks,Sea Lions,Galapagos Sharks and a wide variety of reef fishes which are regularly seen around.
Some cruises present over there allows us to have a glimpse of marine animals present under the sea which is really breath taking.Also,the trip consists of snorkeling excursion which is similar to tropical fish tank swimming in a place like Devil’s Crown which is a submerged volcano.
The Pacific Green Sea Turtles which spends its life mostly under the water has a splendid body weight of 180 kg.The male species never leave the sea while the female ones comes to the banks and lay eggs there in the islands.These are the endangered species as the eggs are destroyed by hawks,herons and some birds and if those young ones comes to sea,sharks may kill them.
The lowest life zone on the island is the coastal zone. Those plants that exist on the seas edge can be divided into two portions the Wet Coastal Zone or Mangrove Zone and the Dry Coastal Zone or Beaches and High Tide Areas .
Mangroves live in the Wet Coastal Zone. These salt-tolerant trees and shrubs thrive in shallow and muddy saltwater or brackish waters. In the Galapagos there are 4 varieties of Mangroves including the Black Mangrove, White Mangrove, Red Mangrove , and Button Mangrove.
The giant Pinta tortoise which is the only one in the world was once present in this island and the marine iguana is the only lizard which swims in the ocean.
The island slopes is the home to Cacti trees in Galapagos which includes Lava Cactus,Candelabra Cactus,Prickly Pear Cactus.Also,the Arid lands consists of vine plants and different species of lichens in silvery leafed Palo Santo Tree.
The Whale watching,snorkeling are the best ways which attract people and they enjoy the most.The whale watching is really excellent in night.
It is really a thrill watching those wonderful living beings which are present only there and hence we need to preserve the species that are going to be extinct as they are really wonderful ones which we cannot view if we are not preserving properly and it is just a real example which shows the thrill of preserving endangered species.