What Animals Live in the Galápagos Islands?
Galapagos Islands are the home of species as you know it. When Charles Darwin moseyed on down to the Islands way back in 1835, his experiences with Galapagos Islands wildlife fed into his iconic ‘Theory of Evolution’. What more reason could you need to visit this historic island?
Throw in incredible scenery and the chance to see unique species, and this isn’t a trip you will want to miss. Read on to find out what rare Galapagos Islands animals are waiting for you on the islands...
Where are the Galapagos Islands?
The Galapagos Islands are a group of islands that are part of the country Ecuador. This may seem slightly out of the way, but you can reach these islands with a Hurtigruten cruise from Quito, Ecuador. Unsure about the best time to visit Galapagos Islands for wildlife? Try and get there between December and May - the warm climate is perfect for hiking and discovering wildlife!
Galapagos Islands Animal List:
- Giant tortoises
- Galapagos Land Iguanas
- Blue-footed boobies
One of the first species discovered by Darwin, these chilled out creatures are unsurprisingly the most popular animal on the Galapagos Islands. ‘Galapago’ is actually a Spanish word for tortoise! These giants can weigh up to 417kg, with an average life span of 100 years. As you might expect, these tortoises are fairly lazy, spending most of their time relaxing and chowing on vegetation. Your best chance of seeing one is on the islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz, Pinzon and Santiago!
Galapagos Land Iguanas
Famously described as ‘ugly creatures’ by Darwin himself, the Galapagos Land Iguana is one of three different types of iguanas on the island. They are certainly no lookers, but the sight of them in their natural habitat is something to see. They stick out with their yellow skin, which is covered in black and brown blotches. They can be seen all year round feeding on fruits and pear leaves!
If Happy Feet is one of your favorite movies, the Galapagos Islands is the place to be. Galapagos Penguins are some of the smallest penguins in the world, living within caves and crevices. However, they spend a lot of their time swimming like athletes underwater as they hunt for fishes like anchovies and sardines. Your best chance of catching these cute creatures is on Fernandina and Isabela Island.
Getting their name from the waved pattern on their wings, the Galapagos Albatross is a huge white bird with a long yellow bill. They spend most of the time soaring above the sea surface in search of prey, and sometimes even steal the prey of other species. The Albatross has a unique mating dance that is well worth seeing - it involves plenty of bill clacking and cow-like mooing!
Beyond the purpose of making you giggle, the Blue Footed Booby is named for its strikingly cool blue feet. These birds are incredible divers, using their bodies to catch their prey with ease. They also use their webbed feet to look after their newborns, and keep them warm. Interesting fact - during their mating rituals, blue-footed boobies show their feet to potential mates to earn approval, with the bluest feet being most desirable!