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Animals of the Galapagos Islands

Animals of the Galapagos Islands


The giant tortoises are the most famous animals in the Galapagos islands and it is because of them they got their name.
Their natural habitat is the higuer part of the islands where foor is more abundant and they only come to the lowlands to nest.
There is a population of around 20000 of them in the Galapagos


One of the most common animals in the Galapagos are the sea lions,these very playful animals live in colonies at the shoreline and they are most of the time the first ones greeting you to the islands.
Also when you go snorkeling is possible to see them underwater ,swimming around and sometimes very curious about the colorful snorkeling gear.


Even though they are called fur seals,these are actually another species of sea lions inhabiting the galapagos islands.
The population is smaller ,they were hunted for many years during the 1800's due to their fur that was used for clothing
They are found in a few islands including James and Genovesa
The galapagos fur seal is about half the size of the galapagos sea lion.


Problably the most famous of all animals in the Galapagosislands.
The darwin's finches are famously known for inspiring Charles Darwin his famous theory of evolution,this little birds are found in all the islands,during your cruise in the galapagos you will have the oportunity to see many of them and thell the appart so you can se the same Charles darwin saw and helped himwith his theory .


There are two different kinds of iguanas in the Galapagos , land and marine iguanas.
Land iguanas are a bit less common than marine iguanas but still can be seen during your cruise in the galapagos,mostly vegetarian , they live on land and eat plant such as pads of cactus trees and succulent plants like sesuvium.
They are easily found on islands like santa Fe and South Plazas.


The other variety of iguanas is the marine one, marine iguanas live on land as well but are adapted to the marine life especially when it comes to food marine iguanas are found on all islands,they live right at the coast and when they need to eat the head toward the water ,their flat tails help them swim and even dive to feed mostly on seaweed. After their time in the water they need to come back on land to warm up.


The Brown pelican is a species of birds that is native to the galapagos although it can be found all along the coast of south and central America as well as Florida.
The brown pelican in galapagos is very easy to spot near the coast ,mostly diving for fish.


The waved albatross from the galapagos islands is the smallest of all species of albatross and its endemic to the Galapagos.

They live only on the island os Espanola and that is the only place in the world where they nest,they are in Galapagos only from late March to late December,after that time they are only found at seas ,fishing and waiting for the next nesting season.


The greater flamingo can be found on islands whith brackish water lagoons meaning most of the larger islands and a few of the small ones,the population of flamingos is not that large making them a bit less common to see, however with a bit of luck a couple of them can be seen on islands like Floreana,Rabida or Isabela.


Endemic to the galapagos ,the swallow tailed gull can be found on most islands,living on rocky costlines where they nest on cliffs because that gives the eggs and chicks more protection.

One of the most beautiful gulls in the wold is probably the most interesting since is the only gull that goes fishing at night .


Also endemic to the galapagos ,the galapagos penguin is one of the smallest of all penguins,its only 35 cm tall and inhabits the islands located towards the south or west of the galapagos where the waters are colder and there is more food.

There are a couple of exceptions such as Bartolome island where there is a small resident population.

It is the only penguin that lives on the equator and some of them even north of the equator line on Isabela island.


The Nazca Booby (Sula granti) is a booby found in the eastern Pacific Ocean, primarily on the Galápagos Islands and on Clipperton Island. The Revillagigedo Islands off Baja California may be the northwesternmost limit of its breeding range.

The Nazca Booby was formerly regarded as a subspecies of the Masked Booby but is now recognized as a separate species. They differ in regard to ecological and morphological as well as mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data.


There are two species of frigates in the galapagos islands, great and magnificent ,they can be found in most islands especially where there are colonies of other sea birds such as boobies.

They are also known as the pirate bird because of their stealing behaviour , they wait for any other bird to catch a fish and the frigate will show up ready to take it away from them.

Large colonies are found on islands such as North Seymour and Genovesa.


Out of the three species of boobies found in the galapagos,the blue footed one is the most common out of all,found on most islands is also one of the most interesting birds to see while they are fishing .

they plunge from hight altitudes right into the water diving many feet into the ocean at great speeds to catch a fish.

Of course the beautiful turquiose blue feet are also a highlight especially during the mating dance.


The Galapagos hawk is the top predator on land in Galapagos.A relatively small bird can be very curious when it comes to new visitors,sometimes it can be found hunting near the visitors trails ,looking for small birds , rodents ,snakes or even iguanas .

Being the top predator it has a wide variety of options when it comes to food.

It can be found on most islands .


The least common of the three species of boobies nesting in galapagos is the red footed booby.

There are two morphological varieties,a brown one as seen in this picture and a white variety that looks very similar to a Nazca booby.

It is the smallest of all boosies in galapagos and its foud on the periferial islands such as Tower or also known as Genovesa.


One of the most interesting birds and probably in the world is the flightless cormorant ,endemic bird to the galapagos islands , is the only species of cormorants in the world that has lost the ability to fly.

This adaptation or should we say evolution , was caused by the large amounts of food found near the coast so these birds didnt really have the need to fly.

Its only found along the coast of Isabela and Fernandina Islands.