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Darwin’s Living Laboratory: The Galapagos Giant Tortoise

2 years ago  •  By  •  0 Comments

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise

Galapagos is the land of sun, lava, and the exquisite animals that can be found nowhere else in the world. When Darwin visited the Galapagos, he called it a ‘living laboratory’ noting that it was a paradise for evolutionary variations of reptiles. Being right on the equator, the dynamic volcanic landscape of the islands has allowed the survival and adaptation of some of the most famous species in the planet: the Galapagos tortoises. But these volcanoes are also home to other unique creatures like marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins and other magnificent fauna.

Giant tortoise Isabela central

Galapagos Giant Tortoises’ Threats

However, these islands were also once visited by British pirates, who took advantage of the tame nature of the reptiles, like the Galapagos tortoise, hunting them for their flesh until they were almost extinct. Now, in the present day, the years of hard work and conservation efforts of the National Park have returned healthy specimens to several islands after years of breeding in captivity. Considering the long lifespan of these tortoises, it will take more than only a few generations to see them increasing in number. But we will get closer to restoring the dynasty of some of the most ancient animals on earth. These animals are now only found in the Galapagos and on the island of Aldabra in the Indian Ocean. During our expeditions on board the Isabela II we invite travellers to discover these and other wonders of the Galapagos.