Animals in Galapagos
Do you know any animals in Galapagos Islands? Do you wonder what to see in the Galapagos? What surprises are waiting for kids in this animal’s paradise? Inside whose shell the boys came in?
When a team of 3 kids and trips landed at Galapagos Island during the expedition to South America, they did not expect such a paradise for animals. The airport on the small island of Baltra is located around dried stones and poor cactuses. But the much larger island of Santa Cruz welcomed the team with lots of greenery, birds flying around, iguanas and sea lions everywhere. It turned out that animals from the Galapagos Islands live here very comfortably and safely!
Marine iguanas are almost everywhere in the Galapagos. They are large, dark lizards that eat algae growing on volcanic rocks. They blend in perfectly with their environment, as both rocks and iguanas are black.
Iguanas also walk along the paths “for people” and reluctantly give way to them. Our kids: Kacper, Konrad and Kaja often observed iguana walking slowly, afraid to approach them.
An equally fearless, but much larger animal is a sea-lion. They are very intelligent animals that feel at home on the Galapagos. They lie in beaches, bath and play in the coastal waves, completely ignoring the presence of people.
Santa Isabela Island
When Kacper, Konrad and Kaja wanted to go to the Santa Isabela Island, a large sea-lion lay on the seafront to which the boat was supposed to moor. There were several dozen of tourists around, but the sea-lion did not want to move, napping with one eye open to control the situation. The Galapagos National Park guard had to help – the sea-lion slowly entered the water and floated majestically. Actually, she was at home!
Kacper, Konrad and Kaja along with their parents went for a bike ride around the Santa Cruz island. To their surprise at the bicycle path they met a few calmly grazing Galapagos tortoise . In fact, they had seen the signs “do not touch the tortoise” before, but to see them at the roadside right away?
Turtles grazed on the grass next to the road eating cactus fruits or small apples poisonous for people. They also did not care about human presence, slowly walked away to nearby trees to look for more peaceful place.
The Galapagos tortoises
A day later, the whole family went to a turtle nursery, where volunteers and park staff take care of turtles until they are strong enough to survive on the island themselves.
There is an old shell of Galapagos tortoise, to which my boys happily crawled. Now we have a Galapagos tortoise with two heads!
The Galapagos tortoises are one of the largest turtles in the world. The length of their armor is one and a half meters, but the largest known individual had a nearly three-meter-long shell!
Turtles hatch from goose-sized eggs, and their gender is determined by the temperature in which they are kept. Boys are hatching in the temperature below 30C and girls above 30C. The newborn turtle weighs about 70 grams and immediately after hatching from the egg begins an independent life. He reaches maturity at the age of 40! The weight of an adult is about 300 kilograms. They live about 300 years.
A few days later, on the Isla Isabela Island, the parents went snorkeling – which is diving with a tube and glasses. Again they meet brave animals from the Galapagos Islands. This time they are lucky to see a sea turtle, flying fish, a few sharks, a seahorse, a manta and a magellanic penguins.
And soon afterwards, the whole family cruises to the Seymour Island to see the kingdom of birds. Darwin’s finch can be seen everywhere, but frigates with red, inflated dewlaps, blue-legged sulidaes or iguanas are the most beautiful on Seymour island!
During the cruise the sailors throw a few pieces of raw meat into the water and immediately appear sharks about 1.5 meter long. Passengers are happy and most probably sharks also.
The last adventure on the Galapagos is red crabs which are everywhere. They are not afraid of people at all. Konrad approaches them too close and … is pinched in toe! At first there was a bit of crying, but then we remember this adventure and it becomes one of our family legends! Despite this accident we really loved all animals in Galapagos!
Here you can see other amazing animals in South America.