Amazing Animals of the Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands is home to the famed Galapagos Tortoise. One of the most impressive animals in the world, this revered tortoise is the tenth-heaviest reptile in the world and can live over 100 years. A worthy representative of the wonderful archipelago! This wise emissary shares the islands with a host of other wildlife. The Galapagos is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. Find out what other amazing animals call it home.
- Galapagos Penguin. When we think of penguins, we think of ice, snow, and frigid waters. The endemic Galapagos penguin, though, prefers the warmer waters of Ecuador. These pint-size penguins grow to be about five pounds and just under 20 inches. They do like to cool off now and then: the Humboldt Current brings cold water from Antartica, and the penguins survive on the nutrients and sea life that accompanies the current. There are only about 1,000 pairs on the Islands, and they have to be careful because they are a favorite treat for sea lions, sharks, fur seals, hawks, and even crabs.
- Waved Albatross. How can you spot a waved albatross? Look for a large, bright yellow bill! This is the hallmark of these great winged beasts. That, and its mating ritual, makes it one of the Island’s favorite inhabitants. The pair engages in bill circling, bowing, beak clacking, and making lively “whoo hoo!” sounds. Perfectly choreographed, and perfectly enchanting.
- Lightfoot Crab. Not only are these crabs vibrant with their bright orange and blue coloring, they have the ability to walk on water! Whether on land or sea, Lightfoot crabs are always on the move. If you want to snap a picture, be quiet and approach slowly so they don’t run and hide. You will get some of your best photos from these crabs, which like to congregate in numbers.
- Marine Iguana. This iguana looks like the tough guy in the neighborhood. Not to worry; they much prefer algae over your toes. These iguanas are the only sea-faring lizards in the world, and they are incredible swimmers.
- Blue Footed Booby. While a graceful bird, the blue footed booby makes the list on the beauty of its feet. Its baby blues are integral in mating rituals. Males strut their stuff before females, and may he with the brightest feet win. Females, too, are chosen for the hue of their feet.
There is no shortage of amazing animals and natural wonders to behold when visiting the Galapagos. Don’t forget about the sea lions, fur seals, sharks, dolphins, hawks, finches, snakes, pelicans, and other beautiful residents of the Islands. Any animal sighting is sure to be a highlight of your trip.