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Galapagos
 

Galapagos is an archipelago of 16 main and 6 smaller volcanic islands distributed around the equator, 965 kilometers west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. The Galapagos are known for their tame and unique wildlife.

Every living creature, including birds, seeds, coconuts, even the giant tortoise, has either flown, swam, been blown or carried to the islands. Some say that the tortoises are living proof of Evolution.  They needed to be small enough to float to the islands. Their descendants weighing in at an impressive 200 kg wouldn’t be able to float. These huge reptiles live a phenomenal 150-200 years.

Santa Cruz is the island with the largest human population at the town Puerto Ayora. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the headquarters of the Galapagos National Park Service are located here. They operate a tortoise breeding center, where young tortoises are hatched, reared and prepared to be reintroduced to their natural habitat.

Bartolome Island has the most impressive lava field I have ever seen, an eruption in 1885 filled in an area around 3 km square, with formations, cracks, swirls, all frozen into a black glassy rock.

Floreana is GREAT for snorkeling and playing with sea lions. They are like puppies in the water, chasing fins, swimming straight at you and then diving down at the very last second.

North Seymour is an extraordinary island for breeding birds and is home to one of the largest population of nesting blue footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds. Pairs of blue footed boobies conducting their mating ritual as they offer each other gifts, the smaller male dances and shows off his bright blue feet, spread his wings, stretches his neck towards the sky, whistles and honks. I could have watched this funny behavior for hours. Magnificent frigate birds perch in low bushes. The frigates are huge, dark acrobats with a 90 inch wingspan. Male frigates can inflate their red throat pouches, waiting for a female. Boobies are excellent fish hunters. The frigates are the pirates in the Galapagos. They dive bomb the boobies to force them to drop their prey. Then the acrobatic frigate swoops down and picks up the food before it hits the water. This piracy behavior is known as "Kleptoparasitism"

 

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Move your mouse over the little pictures to enlarge

 

 Diving in the Galapagos:

Our diveguide Enrique and Captain Gato were very helpful, friendly and produced a great lunch for us!

  

Such a pity, that the visibility is rarely like the picture above with a hogfish.

 

So... it's very helpful to have a good imagination to identify the fish.

 

Website Design & Photos by Isabella Effner, Copyright.