Use the species index tab or the species hub to discover more wildlife of Galapagos. Galapagos cotton, or Darwin’s cotton, is a shrub endemic to the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands nearest mainland, Ecuador, lies 600 miles (970 kilometres) to the East. Galapagos is famous for its high number of endemic species such as the Galapagos giant tortoise, marine iguana, daisy trees and the Galapagos penguin. They grow up to 6 feet long and eat fish, squid and octopus. The main threats are land exploitation (threatening 54% of the rare plants), introduced animals (40%), and introduced plants (19%). This huge expanse of inhospitable ocean in-between makes it very difficult for new kinds of plants and animals to reach the islands. Introduced species are found in Galapagos because they were brought there by humans, intentionally or accidentally. #3: Waved albatross: The albatross in the Galapagos are the only ones found in the tropics. ... which are not meant for human consumption but are usually devoured by the animals and wildlife present in the area. Three plants that are only found on the Galapagos Islands are the the incensé tree, carob tree, and the poison apple tree 1 0 Unfortunately, since the islands were first officially settled in … Unfortunately, since the islands were first officially settled in the mid-1800s, more than 800 species of introduced plants have threatened many native species. 9 animals you’ll only find in the Galápagos. Like Galapagos animals, Galapagos flora displays fascinating and complex examples of adaptive radiation. This sea-faring reptile searches for seaweed up to 50 feet underwater and grows up to 5 feet long. On the Galapagos Islands, there are three major ecosystems: terrestrial, coastal and marine. Sea lions (Zalophus californianus wollebaeki) also live near the shore. Other native birds include the waved albatross (Diomedeidae irrorata), a rare seabird that only nests on Hood Island, and 13 species of finches (Geospizinae spp.) Species include the prickly pear (Opuntia spp. Found only on the Galapagos Islands, the marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) is a modern reptile with the unique ability to forage in the sea. #4: Galapagos penguin: This is the only penguin to live north of the equator, and because it does, it's also the smallest. The Galapagos have 500 species of indigenous plants, 180 of which are endemic to the islands. that populate the islands. The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago or group of islands that have been created by volcanoes. Galapagos is famous for its high number of endemic species such as the Galapagos giant tortoise, marine iguana, daisy trees and the Galapagos penguin. In the 1920s, European and North American settlers began to arrive, as well as Ecuadorians who came to fish and farm. For obvious reasons, its the endemic species that people come to see! It is a medium sized bird endemic to Galapagos Islands. Curated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Red List gives each species a rating from ‘Least concern’ to ‘Extinct’, according to the level of risk. These include the giant Galápagos tortoise ( Chelonoidis nigra ), the marine iguana ( Amblyrhynchus cristatus ), the flightless cormorant ( Phalacrocoraz harrisi ), and the Galápagos penguin. Native Plants. The Galapagos Islands were discovered in 1535 by the bishop of Panama, Tomás de Berlanga, whose ship had drifted off course while en route to Peru.He named them Las Encantadas (“The Enchanted”), and in his writings he marveled at the thousands of large galápagos (tortoises) found there. These continue to change over the life of an island through the process of succession. Only found in the Galapagos, the Opuntia cactus is the most widely distributed and numerous plant in the islands. Much like the people who came to live in the Galápagos, the plants that found a home in the islands had to be hardy types. Many species are endemic , which means they are not found anywhere else in the world. They also happen to be the largest birds on the islands, and delight people with a sweet “kissing” mating dance. This incredibly unusual species of iguana found on all Galapagos islands is the only extant (or still existing) marine lizard on Earth. is endemic to the Galapagos. But they aren’t the only wildlife unique to the islands. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador are known for their unique array of wildlife, and they are home to many species that are not found in any other place in the world. Blog Destinations 9 animals you’ll only find in the Galápagos. About 80% of the land birds you will see, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are endemic. They are large reptiles weighing up to 40 kilos and are unique because despite being land-dwelling reptiles, they forage for food underwater. The Galapagos Islands are a group of volcanic islands which lay in the Pacific Ocean close to the Equator line. This incredibly unusual species of iguana found on all Galapagos islands is the only extant (or still existing) marine lizard on Earth. This endemic seal is pale brown and grows to about 5 feet long. 12 Animals You May See in the Galápagos Islands. They have long legs, long tail and long decurved beaks. The plant normally only flowers after heavy rains. The Galapagos are named for their largest animal resident, the Galapagos tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus). Although he was only in the Galapagos for five weeks in 1835, it was the wildlife that he saw there that inspired him to develop his Theory of Evolution. The wildlife on the Galapagos Islands, both on land and in the water, is exceedingly unique. READ MORE: Galapagos Conservation GALAPAGOS ISLANDS ANIMALS GUIDE The marine iguana feeds exclusively on the inter- and subtidal algae. There are less than 100 individuals left meaning that they are a critically endangered species. The marine iguana is also extremely unusual, since it is the only iguana adapted to life in the sea. Keep reading to learn about nine of the most unique animals found in this part of the world. The list is always growing – despite scientists studying the wildlife on and around Galapagos for three centuries; new species are still being discovered every year. A huge part of why you visit the Galapagos Islands is definitely to see the animals! Beyond that, these isolated islands have been carefully protected. Endemic animals are only found in Galapagos: the marine iguana is one example. For most of history, the islands’ isolated location provided their native flora and fauna with a pristine environment in which to evolve and adapt, unfettered by outside influences. One of the best-known is the Galápagos tortoise, which lives on seven of the islands.It has an average lifespan of more than 150 years. The islands offer you the chance to see many fascinating species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. The flora of Galapagos can be grouped into three major vegetation zones: the coastal zone, the arid zone, and the humid highlands. Pink Iguanas. Most land iguanas can be found in the drier areas of the islands, hiding in the shade of cacti, rocks or trees. Darwin’s theory of evolution stemmed largely from his observations of Galapagos birds. On the Galapagos Islands, there are three major ecosystems: terrestrial, coastal and marine. The Galapagos Islands are home to loads of endemic animals and plants. There are about 20 different kinds of scalesia found in the Galapagos. The only tree found here is the endemic Galapagos fern tree, which can grow to nine feet tall and has a trunk that can grow to eleven inches in … Coastal plants are found in the narrow zone near the shore and are distinctive because of their tolerance to salty conditions. They are often found lazing in the sun on the the white sandy beaches, earning top-spot for the most photogenic animal found on the Galapagos Islands! The islands boast seven genera of Galapagos vegetation entirely unknown to the rest of the world, and around 600 species of vascular plants in the Galapagos Islands are endemic (with approximately 825 introduced species). Here in the highest elevations of the Galapagos (above 3,200 feet) exists an otherworldly realm of ferns, grasses, mosses, lichens and orchids. Share : 10 Animals found only in the Galapagos. The Galapagos islands have a low biodiversity (that is, few animal species), because the islands are 600 miles (1000 km) from the continent. Threat of extinction is measured by the Red List. © Vanessa Green. Their size is very small and can only grow up to 8 cm in length. Many of the plants found on Galapagos are rare and endangered, however, there are some fascinating relationships between the plants and animals on the islands. It measures around 6 inches long, with a slight bushy crest and drab grey plumage offset by yellow bellies. The goat is an example of an introduced species. They eat fruit, shrubs and cactus pads. Ecuador is the most biodiverse country on Earth and there are several different ecosystems within it. 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