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Galapagos Islands: Fauna
(page 3 of 11)

Main Species
The Galapagos Islands are recognized for their unique endemic species. These include a number of reptiles, birds and marine mammals.

Reptiles

Giant Tortoise: the giant tortoises of Galapagos are unique on earth. On the islands there are 11 species of giant tortoises. The species are differentiated by the designs on their shells. It is calculated that they live almost 150 years and the largest ones weigh 250 kg. In the Charles Darwin station, there is a project for raising Galapagos tortoises in order to try to guarantee their survival.

Pacific Green Sea Turtle: this species of turtle goes to the Galapagos Islands to mate and to lay their eggs. Amazingly, the females return to the same beach to lay their eggs, demonstrating the ability that these turtles have for locating themselves in the Ocean. The time during which they are found is at the end of each year and particularly in Black Turtle Cove.

Marine Iguana: the marine iguanas are powerful swimmers that live on the islands. They can be found on the black rocks formed by lava. The skin of these iguanas is normally black although it depends on the time of year because the males turn red and clear green to attract females. These iguanas can dive up to 35 feet deep looking for food.

Land Iguana: the two species of land iguanas are yellow and feed on the cactus fruits from which they also obtain their water. The animals that live on the islands now compete with the terrestrial iguanas that live on the beaches. This species is in danger of extinction.

Lava Lizard: there are 7 endemic species of lizards that live on all of the islands. Their colors attract spectators and visitors and vary from black to red through gray and orange. The females are brown in color with a brilliant orange stripe on the head or on the chest.


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