Straddling the equator, islands in the chain are located in both the northern and southern hemispheres, with Volcán Wolf and Volcán Ecuador on Isla Isabela being directly on the equator. How to Get to the Galapagos Islands. Enjoy our fun Galapagos Islands facts for kids. All the species of giant tortoises found in the Galapagos are native to the islands, but all evolved from a common ancestor which journeyed from the mainland to arrive at the islands around 2 to 3 million years ago. It's very unique and larger than similar animals. Galápagos tortoise facts, pictures and information. Today most are Endangered. This island is also home to many rare and unique animals. ; There are 18 major islands in the chain and over 100 smaller islands, covering an area of about 8,000 km. 1832 - Ecuador annexed the Galapagos Islands. The seven of the total islands in Galapagos Islands are occupied by these tortoises. The Galapagos Islands are home to world’s only ocean-swimming lizard, the Galapagos … The Galapagos are a series of tropical islands found 550 miles (900 km) off Ecuador’s coast. This huge expanse of inhospitable ocean in-between makes it very difficult for new kinds of plants and animals to reach the islands. The Galápagos Islands are a group of 19 islands and more than 100 islets and rocks in the Pacific Ocean, about 1,000km off the coast of Ecuador in South America. The islands are found at the coordinates 1°40'N–1°36'S, 89°16'–92°01'W. Ninety-seven percent of the islands are a national park and half of the land species (and one fifth of the marine species) are endemic to the Galapagos. New discoveries. Though large Galapagos Sharks can be aggressive, the smaller ones we have seen while snorkeling were among the most human-shy of all the Galapagos Islands animals. On this page, you will find a detailed description of all species, including the information on which islands and spots they can be observed and which tours connect to these spots at which date. Many of the animals inhabiting the Galagagos islands are utterly fearless, allowing visitors to get extremely close to some of the worlds most endangered species. One of the greatest aspects of a trip to the "Enchanted Isles," from a visitor’s point of view, is the fact that the animals living in the Galapagos are extremely tolerant of our presence; in fact, they have no natural fear of humans and allow us to approach them at close range. The Galapagos Marine Reserve covers 133,000 square kilometres. You can get to see them without worrying if you’re going to get hurt by the animals because they’re all kept in a secure place where you can watch them. You will, however, likely encounter the playful sea lions or fur seals when you snorkel or witness the majestic whales and agile dolphins surging out of the water alongside your yacht. The Galapagos Fur Seal. In the 1920s, European and North American settlers began to arrive, as well as Ecuadorians who came to fish and farm. One important but fun fact about Galapagos Islands is that it is home to the endangered but unfearful wildlife, which can get the visitors some of the rarest animals on the planet. In fact, the islands are actually named after these creatures, "Galapagos" is an old Spanish word, no longer used, meaning tortoise. Read our top 10 interesting facts about the UNESCO awarded Galapagos Islands. Due to the uniqueness of the islands and ocean waters there are vast numbers of endemic species including: Galapagos land iguanas, marine iguana (the only iguana that feed in the sea), sea cucumbers, flightless cormorant, blue-footed booby, Galapagos mockingbirds, Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos hawk, great Frigatebird, waved Albatross, and over 50 species of fish. 2. The size and shape of animals living in the Galapagos is not like ordinary animals. Here, we run through some facts … Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. The reptile is found in many places in the archipelago; with colonies at the end of Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz, Fernandina and Isabela Islands. The Galapagos Islands make a wonderful place to visit, and many people each year take a Galapagos Islands cruise or land-based Galapagos tour to get to see the wildlife and enjoy the unusual volcanic scenery. 1835 - The HMS Beagle under the command of captain Robert FitzRoy brought Charles Darwin to the islands where he studied the natural history of the islands, its flora, and its animal inhabitans. Welcome to Galapagos Conservancy, the only U.S. nonprofit exclusively dedicated to the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. Both cities can easily be reached with direct flights from the United States. Adaptation, evolution, endemism and fearlessness are probably the concepts that best describe the only animals that complement the natural magic of the Galapagos Islands. Since his initial visit to the archipelago, countless tourists have visited these remarkable shores. The Galápagos Islands are famous because of the scientist Charles Darwin.After studying the plants and animals on the islands in the 1800s, Darwin developed his theory of evolution.The theory, which explains how living things change over time, changed the science of biology forever. Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis nigra) are the world’s largest species of tortoise that are alive today. In 1978 UNESCO designated Galapagos as the first World Heritage site. The Galapagos Islands are a small island chain, known for their unique wildlife. The oldest island, Española , was formed three to five million years ago, when molten rock called ‘magma’ burst through the sea bed, gradually forming a volcano that rose out of the sea. Some tortoises live to be well over 150 years old! Learn Galapagos Islands facts with NatGeo Expeditions. They are thought to weigh in the region of 250-250kg, and live longer than any other animal on the planet. Click for more kids facts and information or download the worksheet collection. This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. The most famous […] The abundance of friendly and plentiful wildlife makes the Galapagos Islands a perfect destination for animal lovers. The Galapagos Islands are regarded the world over as a unique destination, originally made famous by scientific explorer Charles Darwin in the mid-1800s. They are often found lazing in the sun on the the white sandy beaches, earning top-spot for the most photogenic animal found on the Galapagos Islands! The Galapagos Islands became famous after Charles Darwin landed there to study the animals of these islands and postulate the theory of evolution. Here are some facts about the Galapagos Islands. Galapagos Marine Iguanas are endemic to the Galapagos Islands, having the ability to sustain themselves on land and in the sea. 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