Galapagos luxury tours - Galapagos Land Iguana. Galapagos cruise. Travel experience stories
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The Galapagos Islands, with a wealth of endemic species, are world famous for their rich and unique wild nature
Staying on this small, but diverse and full of life archipelago isolated from external contacts brought Darwin to thoughts and ideas that later resulted in his famous scientific work on the origin of species. The archipelago is famous for its flora and fauna. A large number of inhabitants of the archipelago are endemics (they exist only here).
There are seventeen volcanoes in the archipelago, with the highest - Albemarl on Isabel Island - exceeding a mile and a half. In 1978, the islands were declared World Heritage by UNESCO, and in 1985 - a reserve of the world biosphere. To preserve the population of Galapagos turtles, programs have been developed for their protection and breeding with subsequent release into the wild. Hunting these animals of the Galapagos Islands is strictly prohibited. Conservation activities have benefited many subspecies, and island tortoise populations are mainly on the path to recovery and restoration.
Galapagos is the only region in the world where 98% of the representatives of the animal and plant worlds are endemic. The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago belonging to Ecuador. There are very few natural predators in the Galapagos Islands. One of the major local predators is the Galapagos Buzzard. It is an endemic species of the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador, inhabiting open fields, coast, forests and mountains.
Change of scenery. The most famous animals of the Galapagos Islands are: Common Conolof, Galapagos Buzzard, Galapagos Typhoon, Galapagos Sea Lions, Galapagos Marine Iguana, Galapagos Fur Seal, Galapagos Fins, Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos Elephant turtle, Galapagos flightless cormorant, Red-tailed iguana, undulating albatross, Galapagos Mockingbird, Red Reef Crab (Grapsus grapsus), Locust Schistocerca melanocera.
These islands are of volcanic origin. Conolophus is a genus of iguanas living exclusively on the Galapagos Islands
They are close relatives of marine iguanas, but differ from them by a longer head, a short, awkward body with a weakly pronounced dorsal crest. All species are listed in the International Red Book. Despite their impressive dimensions, these reptiles are by nature herbivores, not predators. But as a result of observing these representatives of the Galapagos fauna, the existence of some species of carnivorous lizards of this type was noticed.
There are practically no sources of fresh water in the Galapagos Islands. Most of the moisture in Common Conolof comes from a spiny cactus, which makes up 80% of their diet. These lizards have a rather unusual tongue. It is egg-shaped, and at the end there is a small notch. The tongue of Galapagos Land Iguana does not feel pain at all, however, like their gums. There are also unique marine iguanas, similar to fossil lizards and foraging for themselves deep into the sea, sometimes at a depth of ten meters. Time to live in freedom. The first of the islands was formed about 5-10 million years ago as a result of tectonic activity.
These iguanas do not have the ability to chew food. Taking pieces of cacti, they swallow them whole. Land iguanas prefer to live in cool burrows, which they snatch for themselves. Being in them, they protect their body from overheating. The period of breeding of land iguanas falls in August-October. At this time, the females lay eggs (usually up to 25 pieces). Each of them has a peel-like, soft shell. Most often, iguana females choose leaves or wet sand for laying eggs, but this luxury is not provided to the Galapagos Land Iguana. Fernandino Island, on which they live, is characterized by dryness and rocky terrain. Therefore, females have to make a long journey, 15 km long, to reach an extinct volcano, and build a convenient place in its crater for future offspring.
In the process of evolution, membranes between the fingers disappeared from the conolophus. For elementary uselessness in the land way of life. In representatives of this species, the length of the tail is approximately equal to half the length of the body. Usually it is 50-60 cm, because land iguanas grow to 1.2 m. The nature has awarded conolophs with beautiful bright coloring. The color of the head, abdomen and paws varies from lemon yellow to light orange. The back is brick red in color, and the sides are painted dark brown.
Scientists around the world are seriously concerned about the state of biodiversity on the planet. A number of experts call the current situation the sixth mass extinction of wildlife. A third of terrestrial species are declining, including those for which we are least worried. Insects also become smaller, but it is difficult to say something specific about them, since scientists do not have accurate data on their population.
In nature, there is a special type of creature called extremophiles. They differ from all other animals in that they are able to survive in extreme conditions, for example, in especially hot places or very salty waters. Scientists have discovered that there are also creatures in the world that almost don't need oxygen. The water in which especially tenacious fish were found contained much less oxygen than was necessary for the life of other aquatic inhabitants. It was previously believed that fish are not able to live in "dead water", since oxygen plays an important role in their metabolism. Apparently, the body found in the representatives of the underwater world is completely different.
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