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Encyclopedia > Galápagos Islands
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NASA Satellite photo of the Galápagos archipelago.

The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of some 13 volcanic islands and associated islets and rocks located in the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 kilometers west of the coast of South America. The Galápagos archipelago is politically part of Ecuador. The oldest of the islands are about 4 million years old and the youngest are still in the process of being formed. Indeed, the Galápagos islands are considered to be one of the most active volcanic areas in the world. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... An archipelago is a landform which consists of a chain or cluster of islands. ... An archipelago is a landform which consists of a chain or cluster of islands. ... A small island in the Adriatic sea An island is any piece of land smaller than a continent and larger than a rock, that is completely surrounded by water. ... This page is a candidate to be moved to Wiktionary. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ...


They are famed for their vast number of endemic species and the studies conducted by Charles Darwin that led to his theory of natural selection. This article is about the ecological meaning of endemic. See also endemic (epidemiology). ... Charles Darwin, about the same time as the publication of The Origin of Species. ... Natural selection is the primary mechanism within the scientific theory of evolution, in that it alters the frequency of alleles within a population. ...


The islands are distributed to the north and south of the equator. The equator crosses the northern part of the largest island, Isabela. The equator is an imaginary line drawn around a planet, halfway between the poles. ...

Contents

Conservation

Though the first protective legislation for the Galápagos was enacted in 1934 and supplemented in 1936, it was not until the late 1950s that positive action was taken to control on what was happening to the native flora and fauna. In 1955, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature organised a fact-finding mission to the Galápagos. Two years later, in 1957, UNESCO in cooperation with the Government of Ecuador sent another expedition to study the conservation situation and to choose a site for a research station. 1934 was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1936 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1955 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1957 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... UNESCO logo The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, commonly known as UNESCO, is a specialized agency of the United Nations system established in 1946. ...


In 1959, the centenary year of Darwin's publication of The Origin of Species, the Ecuadorean government declared 97.5% of the archipelago's land area, except áreas already colonised, as a national park. In the same year, the Charles Darwin Foundation was founded, with its international headquarters in Brussels. Its primary objectives were to ensure the conservation of unique Galápagos ecosystems and promote the scientific studies necessary to fulfil its conservation functions. With the establishment of the Charles Darwin Research Station in 1964, conservation work began. During the early years, conservation programs, such as eradication of introduced species and protection of native species, were carried out by Station personnel. Currently, most of the scientific work carried out in the Galápagos by resident scientists is directed toward conservation goals; the work of most visiting scientists is oriented towards pure research. 1959 was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... Yosemite National Park in the United States. ... The Charles Darwin Foundation, Inc. ... 1964 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ...


When the national park was established, approximately 1,000 to 2,000 people called the islands their home. In 1972 a census was done in the archipelago and a population of 3,488 was recorded. By the 1980s, this number had dramatically risen to more than 15,000 people. 1972 was a leap year that started on a Saturday. ... Events and trends The 1980s marked an abrupt shift towards more conservative lifestyles after the momentous cultural revolutions which took place in the 1960s and 1970s and the definition of the AIDS virus in 1981. ...


In 1986 the surrounding ocean was declared a marine reserve. UNESCO recognised the islands as a World Heritage Site in 1978, which was extended in December 2001 to include the marine reserve. 1986 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Marine reserve is an area of the sea which has legal protection against fishing or development. ... UNESCO logo The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, commonly known as UNESCO, is a specialized agency of the United Nations system established in 1946. ... Elabana Falls is in Lamington National Park, part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves World Heritage site in Queensland, Australia. ... 1978 was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1978 calendar). ... 2001 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December Events: December 2 - Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection five days after Dynegy canceled a US$8. ...


Noteworthy species include:

Land Iguana (c) Roderick Eime
Land Iguana (c) Roderick Eime

Species Iguana delicatissima Iguana iguana An iguana is a large tropical American lizard, generally any member of the reptile family Iguanidae but specifically members of the genus Iguana. ... Binomial name Amblyrhynchus cristatus (Bell, 1825) Marine iguanas are a species of iguana and have the unique ability among modern lizards to live and forage in the sea. ... Species Iguana delicatissima Iguana iguana An iguana is a large tropical American lizard, generally any member of the reptile family Iguanidae but specifically members of the genus Iguana. ... Binomial name Geochelone nigra (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) The Galápagos tortoise (or giant Galápagos tortoise), Geochelone nigra, is the largest living tortoise. ... Genera Chersina Dipsochelys Furculachelys Geochelone Gopherus Homopus Indotestudo Kinixys Malacochersus Manouria Psammobates Pyxis Testudo Tortoise is the name given to the land-dwelling reptiles most of whose body is shielded by a special shell. ... Orders Subclass Apodacea  Apodida  Molpadiida Subclass Aspidochirotacea  Aspidochirotida  Elasipodida Subclass Dendrochirotacea  Dactylochirotida  Dendrochirotida The sea cucumber is an echinoderm of the class Holothuroidea, with an elongated body and leathery skin. ... A quota is a prescribed number or share of something. ... The term Asian can refer to something or someone from Asia. ... This article is about the ecological meaning of endemic. See also endemic (epidemiology). ... Genera Many, see text Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, the many species of which are found chiefly in the northern hemisphere, but also to a limited extent in Africa and South America. ... Darwins finches are 13 or 14 different closely related species of finches Charles Darwin discovered on the Galapagos Islands. ... Binomial name Spheniscus mendiculus Sundevall, 1871 The Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is a penguin endemic to the Galapagos Islands. ... Binomial name Nannopterum harrisi (Rothschild, 1898) The Flightless Cormorant, Nannopterum harrisi, is a cormorant native to the Galapagos Islands. ... One of the Galápagos Islands few predators, the Galápagos Hawk scavanges and can frequently be seen devouring young land and marine iguanas, lizards and birds. ... Genera Eumetopias Zalophus Otaria Neophoca Phocarctos A sea lion rookery at Monterey, California A sea lion is any of several marine mammals of the family Otariidae. ... The Humboldt Current (or Peru Current) is a cold ocean current that flows northward off the west coast of South America. ... Land Iguana (c) Roderick Eime File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Land Iguana (c) Roderick Eime File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

Threats

The main threats affecting Galápagos are the introduced plants and animals, which have been brought accidentally or willingly to the islands by humans become plagues that affect the balance of the ecosystem of Galápagos due to the lack of natural enemies that result in their fast propagation.


Some of the most harmful introduced plants are the Guayaba or Guaba Psidium guajava, avocado Persea americana, cascarilla Chinchona sucsirubra, balsa Ochroma pyramidale, blackberry Rubus glaucus, various citrus (orange, frapefruit, lemon), floripondio Datura arborea, higuerilla Ricinus communis and the elephant grass Pennisetum purpureum. These plants have invaded large areas and eliminated the endemic species in the humid zones of San Cristobal, Floreana, Isabela and Santa Cruz.


There is a long list of introduced animals, which were mainly brought to Galápagos by pirates and buccaneers. Heyerdal quotes some documents that mention that the Viceroy of Peru, knowing that the british pirates used to feed on the goats that they themselves have released in the islands, order dogs to be freed in the islands so that they will eat the goats. Also, when the colonizing project of José de Villamil in Floreana failed, he ordered that the goats, donkeys, cows and other animals from the farms in Floreana be transfered to other islands so that in the future those could be colonized.


Goats, pigs, dogs, rats, cats, mice, sheep, horses, donkeys, cows, poultry, ants, cockroaches and some parasites inhabit the islands nowadays. Dogs and cats attack the tame birds, destroy their nests and those of the land tortoises and marine turtles, sometimes killing small galapagos tortoises and iguanas. Pigs are even more harmful, because they cover larger areas and destroy the nests of tortoises, iguanas, marine turtles and knock-down vegetation in their search for roots and insects. This abound in Cerro Azul volcano, in Isabela and in Santiago may be the cause for the disappearance of the land iguanas that were so abundant when Darwin visited that island. The black rat Rattus rattus attack small galapagos tortoises when they leave the nests, so that in Pinzón they stopped the reproduction for a period of more than 50 years, so only adults were found in that island. Also, where the black rat is found, the endemic rat has disappeared. Cows and donkeys eat all the available vegetation and compete with native species for the scarse water available. In 1959 fishermen introduced one male and two female goats in Pinta island, and by 1973 the National Park service estimated the population of goats to be over 30,000 individuals. Goats were also introduced to Marchena in 1967 and to Rabida in 1971.


Main Islands

The archipelago has been known by many different names, including the "Enchanted Islands" because of the way in which the strong and swift currents made navigation difficult. The first crude navigation chart of the islands was done by the buccaneer Ambrose Cowley in 1684, and in those charts he named the islands after some of his fellow pirates or after the English noblemen who helped the pirates' cause. An ocean current is any more or less permanent or continuous, directed movement of ocean water that flows in one of the Earths oceans. ... This article is in need of attention. ... A nautical chart is a graphic representation of a maritime area and adjacent coastal regions. ... Buccaneer is a term that was used in the later 17th century in the Caribbean Islands. ... Events France under Louis XIV makes Truce of Ratisbon separately with the Empire and Spain. ... A pirate is one who robs or plunders at sea without a commission from a recognised sovereign nation. ... The English are an ethnic group originating in the lowlands of Great Britain and are descendent primarily from the Anglo-Saxons and the Celts, with minor influences from the Scandanavians and other groups. ...


The main islands of the archipelago (with their English names) are The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


San Cristóbal (Chatham) It bears the name of the Patron Saint of seafarers, "St. Christopher" its English name was given after the English nobleman Count Chatham. It has an area of 558 km2 and its highest point rises to 730 metres. This islands hosts frigate birds, sea lions, giant turtles, blue and red footed boobies, tropical birds, marine iguanas, dolphins, swallow-tailed seagulls. Its vegetation includes Calandrina galapagos, Lecocarpus darwinii, trees such as Lignum vitae, Matazarna. The largest fresh water lake in the archipelago, "Laguna El Junco" is located in the highlands of San Cristóbal. The capital of the archipelago, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, lies at the southern tip of the island. This article is about the Christian saint known as Christopher. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Species There are five species in the order Fregatatidae, the frigatebirds. ... Genera Eumetopias Zalophus Otaria Neophoca Phocarctos A sea lion rookery at Monterey, California A sea lion is any of several marine mammals of the family Otariidae. ... Families See text Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudinata, most of whose body is shielded by a special bony shell developed from their ribs. ... Binomial name Sula nebouxii Milne-Edwards, 1882 The Blue_footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) is a bird in the Sulidae family which comprises ten species of long-winged seabirds. ... Species Papasula    Papasula abbotti or Sula abbotti Sula    Sula nebouxii    Sula variegata    Sula dactylatra    Sula sula    Sula leucogaster † See also Gannet The boobies are part of the family Sulidae. ... Species Iguana delicatissima Iguana iguana An iguana is a large tropical American lizard, generally any member of the reptile family Iguanidae but specifically members of the genus Iguana. ... Genera See article below. ... Genera Pagophila Larus Rissa Creagus Xema Rhodostethia Gulls are seabirds in the family Laridae and subfamily Lari. ... A lake is a body of water surrounded by land. ... Highland is the name of the largest administrative region in Scotland. ... Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galápagos Province, in Ecuador. ...


Española (Hood) Its name was given in honor of Spain. It is also known as Hood after an English nobleman. It has an area of 60 km2 and a maximum altitude of 206 metres. Española is the nesting place of the albatross and also hosts Galápagos Hawks, marine turtles, masqued boobies, marine iguanas, sharks, sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, finches, Galápagos doves, giant turtles, tropic birds and blue-footed boobies. A lava fissure on the shore has created a blowhole where water spurts high in the air when the waves hit the wall. It is the southernmost island of the archipelago hosting a large proportion of endemic fauna. Binomial name Phoebastria irrorata Salvin, 1883 The Waved Albatross, Phoebastria irrorata, is the only member of the Diomedeidae family located in the tropics. ... One of the Galápagos Islands few predators, the Galápagos Hawk scavanges and can frequently be seen devouring young land and marine iguanas, lizards and birds. ... Families See text Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudinata, most of whose body is shielded by a special bony shell developed from their ribs. ... Species Papasula    Papasula abbotti or Sula abbotti Sula    Sula nebouxii    Sula variegata    Sula dactylatra    Sula sula    Sula leucogaster † See also Gannet The boobies are part of the family Sulidae. ... Species Iguana delicatissima Iguana iguana An iguana is a large tropical American lizard, generally any member of the reptile family Iguanidae but specifically members of the genus Iguana. ... Orders see article text below Sharks are a group (superorder Selachimorpha) of fish, with a full cartilaginous skeleton, a streamlined body plan with between 5 and 7 gill slits along the sides (most often) or side of the head (the first modified slit is behind the eye and called a... Genera Eumetopias Zalophus Otaria Neophoca Phocarctos A sea lion rookery at Monterey, California A sea lion is any of several marine mammals of the family Otariidae. ... Genera Pagophila Larus Rissa Creagus Xema Rhodostethia Gulls are seabirds in the family Laridae and subfamily Lari. ... Binomial name Sula nebouxii Milne-Edwards, 1882 The Blue_footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) is a bird in the Sulidae family which comprises ten species of long-winged seabirds. ... Lava is molten rock that a volcano expels during an eruption. ... A blowhole is a cavity formed in the ground at the inland end of a sea cave. ... Fauna is a collective term for animal life. ...


Santa Fé (Barrington) Named after a city in Spain, has an area of 24 km2 and a maximum altitude of 259 metres. Santa Fe hosts a forest of Opuntia cactus, which are the largest of the archipelago, and Palo Santo. Weathered cliffs provide a haven for swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, shear-waters petrels. Santa Fe species of land iguanas are often seen, as well as lava lizards. There is a picturesque turquoise lagoon and calm waters where snorkeling can be done along with sea lions. Forest - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ... Species Many, see text Opuntia is a genus in the cactus family Cactaceae. ... Genera Many, see text A cactus (plural, cacti or cactuses) is a type of (usually) succulent plant belonging to the dicotyledonous flowering plant family, Cactaceae. ... geography, a cliff is a significant vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. ... Genera Procellaria Calonectris Puffinus †See also fulmar, prion, petrel Shearwaters are medium-sized long-winged seabirds. ...   #30D5C8 Turquoise is a mid-value color blend of blue and green. ... A lagoon is a body of comparatively shallow salt water separated from the deeper sea by a shallow or exposed sandbank, coral reef, or similar feature. ... Snorkeling is the practice of swimming at the surface of a body of water (typically of the sea) equipped with a mask and a short tube called a snorkel, to explore the underwater environment. ...


Genovesa (Tower) The name is derived from Genoa, Italy where it is said Columbus was born. It has an area of 14 km2 and a maximum altitude of 76 metres. This island is formed by the remaining edge of a large crater that is submerged. Its nickname of “the bird island” is clearly justified. At Darwin Bay, frigatebirds, swallow-tailed gulls, which are the only nocturnal of its species in the world can be seen. Red-footed boobies, noddy terns, lava gulls, tropic birds, doves, storm petrels and Darwin finches are also in sight. Prince Philip´s Steps is a magnificent bird-watching plateau with masked and red-footed boobies. There is a large Palo Santo forest. Location within Italy Flag of Genoa Christopher Columbus monument in Piazza Aquaverde Genoa (Italian Genova (jeno-vah), Genoese Zena (zaynah), French Gênes) is a city and a seaport in northern Italy, the capital of Liguria. ... Christopher Columbus For information about the director, see the article on Chris Columbus. ... This article is about impact craters, also known as meteor craters. ... Species There are five species in the order Fregatatidae, the frigatebirds. ... Species Papasula    Papasula abbotti or Sula abbotti Sula    Sula nebouxii    Sula variegata    Sula dactylatra    Sula sula    Sula leucogaster † See also Gannet The boobies are part of the family Sulidae. ... Genera Sterna (Gelochelidon) (Hydroprogne) (Thalasseus) Chlidonias Phaetusa Anous Procelsterna Gygis Larosterna Terns are seabirds in the family Sternidae, previously considered a subfamily Sterninae of the gull family Laridae. ... Pigeon redirects here. ... Genera Subfamily Oceanitinadae Oceanites Pelagodroma Fregatta Neofregatta Subfamily Hydrobatinae Garrodia Hydrobates Oceanodroma Halocyptena The storm-petrels are seabirds in the family Hydrobatidae, part of the order Procellariiformes. ... Darwins finches are 13 or 14 different closely related species of finches Charles Darwin discovered on the Galapagos Islands. ... For alternate uses of the term, see Plateau (disambiguation). ...


Floreana (Charles or Santa María) It was named after Juan José Flores, the first president of Ecuador, during whose administration the government of Ecuador took possession of the archipelago. It is also called Santa Maria after one of the caravels of Columbus. It has an area of 173 km2 and a maximum altitude of 640 metres. It is one of the islands with the most interesting human history and one of the earliest to be inhabited. Pink flamingos and green sea turtles nest (December to May) in this island. The "joint footed" petrel is found here, a nocturnal sea bird which spends most of its life away from land. At Post Office Bay, since the 18th century whalers kept a wooden barrel that served as post office so that mail could be picked up and delivered to their destination mainly Europe and the United States by ships on their way home. At the “Devil´s Crown”, an underwater volcanic cone, coral formations are found. Juan José Flores (1800‑1864), was a general who became the first president of Ecuador, serving in that post three times: from 1830 to 1834, from 1835 to 1839, and from 1843 to 1845. ... President is a title held by many leaders of organizations, companies, universities, and countries. ... The Santa Maria was the largest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492. ... A caravel is a small, highly maneuverable, three-masted ship used by the Spanish for long voyages of exploration beginning in the 15th century. ... Species Phoenicopterus roseus Phoenicopterus minor Phoenicopterus jamesi Phoenicopterus andinus Phoenicopterus chilensis Phoenicopterus ruber Flamingos (genus Phoenicopterus monotypic in family Phoenicopteridae) are gregarious wading birds, usually 3–5 feet in height, found in both the western and eastern hemispheres. ... A nocturnal animal is one that sleeps during the day and is active at night - the opposite of the human (diurnal) schedule. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch Whaling is the hunting and killing of whales. ... A barrel is a hollow cylindrical container, usually made of wood staves and bound with iron bands. ... Small-town post office and town hall in Lockhart, Alabama A post office is a facility (in most countries, a government one) where the public can purchase postage stamps for mailing correspondence or merchandise, and also drop off or pick up packages or other special-delivery items. ... World map showing location of Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is geologically and geographically a peninsula, forming the westernmost part of Eurasia. ... Puu Oo, a cinder-and-spatter cone on Kilauea, Hawaii Volcanic cones are among the simplest volcano formations. ... Orders see Anthozoa zsnobordinkid505@aol. ...


South Plaza It is named in honor of a former president of Ecuador, General Leonidas Plaza. It has an area of 0.13 km2 and a maximum altitude of 23 metres. The flora of South Plaza includes Opuntia cactua and Sesuvium plants, which forms a reddish carpet on top of the lava formations. Iguanas (land and marine and some hybrids of both species) are abundant and there are a large number of birds that can be observed from the cliffs at the southern part of the island, including tropic birds and swallow-tailed gulls. Leonidas Plaza Gutiérrez (1865 - 1932) was an Ecuadorian political figure. ...


Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Named after the Holy Cross, its English name was given after the British vessel bearing this name (HMS Indefatigable ). It has an area of 986 km2 and a maximum altitude of 864 metres. Santa Cruz is the island that hosts the largest human population in the archipelago at the town of Puerto Ayora. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the headquarters of the Galápagos National Park Service are located here. At the CDRS operates a tortoise breeding center where these chelonians are prepared to be reintroduced to their natural habitat. The Highlands of Santa Cruz offer an exuberant vegetation and are famous for the lava tunnels. Large tortoise populations are found here. Black Turtle Cove is a fantastic site surrounded by mangrove which sea turtles, rays and small sharks sometimes use as a mating area. Cerro Dragón, known for its flamingo lagoon, is also located here, and along the trail one may see land iguanas foraging. Puerto Ayora is a town in central Galápagos, Ecuador. ... Habitat (from the Latin for it inhabits) is the place where a particular species lives and grows. ...


Baltra (South Seymour) The origin of its name is unknown. It has an area of 27 km2 and a maximum altitude of 100 metres. The main airport of the archipelago is located here and was built during WWII by the United States Navy to patrol the Panama Canal. Land iguanas were reintroduced after the native population became extinct during the time when American soldiers were posted in this island, and marine iguanas and marine turtles can also be seen here.


North Seymour Its name was given after an English nobleman called Lord Hugh Seymour. It has an area of 1.9 km2 and a maximum altitude of 28 metres. This islands is home to a large population of blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. It hosts one of the largest populations of frigate birds, with their magnificent red pouches.


Marchena (Bindloe) Named after Fray Antonio Marchena. Has an area of 130 km2 and a maximum altitude of 343 metres. Sparrow hawks and sea lions inhabit this island.


Pinzón (Duncan) Named after the Pinzon brothers, captains of the Pinta and Niña Caravels. Has an area of 18 km2 and a maximum altitude of 458 metres. Sea lions, sparrow hawks, giant turtles, marine iguanas and dolphins can be seen here.


Rábida (Jervis) It bears the name of the convent of Rábida where Columbus left his son during his voyage to the Americas. Has an area of 4.9 km2 and a maximum altitude of 367 metres. The high amount of iron contained in the lava at Rábida give it a distinctive red color. Flamingos and White-Cheeked Pintail Ducks live in a salt-water lagoon close to the beach, where brown pelicans and boobies have built their nests. Nine species of Finches have been reported in this island.


Bartolomé Named after Lt. David Bartholomew of the British Navy. Has an area of 1.2 km2 and a maximum altitude of 114 metres. Famous for its Pinnacle Rock, which is the most representative landmark of Galápagos. Here the rare Galápagos Penguins and Sea Lions can be seen. There are amazing lava formations and spatter cones left untouched since the last eruptions.


Santiago (San Salvador, James) Its name is equivalent to Saint James in English; it is also known as San Salvador, after the first island discovered by Columbus in the Caribbean Sea. This island has an area of 585 km2 and a maximum altitude of 907 metres. Marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, flamingos, dolphins and sharks are found here. There are a large number of goats and pigs, animals which were introduced by humans to the islands and have caused great harm to the endemic species. Darwin Finches and Galápagos Hawks are usually seen as well as a colony of Fur Seals. At Sullivan Bay a recent pahoehoe lava flow can be observed. Species Phoenicopterus roseus Phoenicopterus minor Phoenicopterus jamesi Phoenicopterus andinus Phoenicopterus chilensis Phoenicopterus ruber Flamingos (genus Phoenicopterus monotypic in family Phoenicopteridae) are gregarious wading birds, usually 3–5 feet in height, found in both the western and eastern hemispheres. ... A goat is an animal in the genus Capra, which consists of nine species: the Ibex, the West Caucasian Tur, the East Caucasian Tur, the Markhor, and the Wild Goat. ... Binomial name Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758 The domestic pig is usually given the scientific name Sus scrofa, though some authors call it , reserving for the wild boar. ... Darwins finches are 13 or 14 different closely related species of finches Charles Darwin discovered on the Galapagos Islands. ... Lava is molten rock that a volcano expels during an eruption. ...


Pinta (Abingdon) It got its name from one of the caravels of Columbus. Has an area of 60 km2 and a maximum altitude of 777 metres. Swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, sparrow hawks, fur seals can be seen here. A caravel is a small, highly maneuverable, three-masted ship used by the Spanish for long voyages of exploration beginning in the 15th century. ...


Isabela (Albemarle) This island was named in honor of Queen Isabel who sponsored the voyage of Columbus. With an area of 4.588 km2, it is the largest island of the Galápagos. Its highest point is Wolf Volcano with an altitude of 1,707 metres. The island's shape is the product of the merge of six large volcanoes into a single landmass. In this island penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas, boobies, pelicans and Sally lightfoot crabs abound. At the skirts and calderas of the volcanos of Isabela, Land Iguanas and Galápagos Tortoises can be observed, as well as Darwin Finches, Galápagos Hawks, Galápagos Doves and very interesting lowland vegetation. The third-largest human settlement of the archipelago, Puerto Villamil, is located at the south-eastern tip of the island. Genera Aptenodytes Eudyptes Eudyptula Megadyptes Pygoscelis Spheniscus Penguins (order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae) are an order of flightless birds living in the southern hemisphere. ... Genera Nannopterum Phalacrocorax Leucocarbo The Phalacrocoracidae family of birds is represented by over thirty species of cormorants and shags. ... Genera Amblyrhynchus Brachylophus Conolophus Ctenosaura Cyclura Dipsosaurus Iguana Sauromalus Frost et al. ... Species Pelecanus occidentalis Pelecanus thagus Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Pelecanus onocrotalis Pelecanus crispus Pelecanus rufescens Pelecanus philippensis Pelecanus conspicillatus A pelican is any of several very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae. ... Darwins finches are 13 or 14 different closely related species of finches Charles Darwin discovered on the Galapagos Islands. ...


Fernandina (Narborough) The name was given in honor of King Fernando of Spain, who sponsored the voyage of Columbus. Fernandina has an area of 642 km2 and a maximum altitude of 1,494 metres. This is the youngest and westernmost island of the Archipelago. In May 13, 2005, a new eruptive process began on this island when an ash and water vapor cloud rose to a height of 7 kilometers and lava flows descended the slopes of the volcano on their way to the sea. Punta Espinoza is a narrow stretch of land where hundreds of Marine Iguanas gather in large groups on black lava rocks. The famous Flightless Cormorant inhabits this island and also Penguins, Pelicans and Sea Lions are abundant. Different types of lava flows can be compared and the Mangrove Forests can be observed. Binomial name Nannopterum harrisi (Rothschild, 1898) The Flightless Cormorant, Nannopterum harrisi, is a cormorant native to the Galapagos Islands. ... Genera Aptenodytes Eudyptes Eudyptula Megadyptes Pygoscelis Spheniscus Penguins (order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae) are an order of flightless birds living in the southern hemisphere. ... Species Pelecanus occidentalis Pelecanus thagus Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Pelecanus onocrotalis Pelecanus crispus Pelecanus rufescens Pelecanus philippensis Pelecanus conspicillatus A pelican is any of several very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae. ... In computer programming jargon, lava flow is a problem in which computer code, usually written under less than optimal conditions, is put into production and then built on when still in a developmental state. ... Above and below water view at the edge of the mangal Mangroves are woody trees or shrubs that grow in mangrove habitats or mangal (Hogarth, 1999). ...


Wolf (Wenman) This island was named after the German geologist Theodor Wolf. It has an area of 1.3 km2 and a maximum altitude of 253 metres. Here fur seals, frigates, masqued and red footed boobies, marine iguanas, sharks, whales, dolphins and swallow-tailed gulls can be seen.


Darwin (Culpepper) This island is named after Charles Darwin. It has an area of 1.1 km2 and a maximum altitude of 168 metres. Here fur seals, frigates, marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, Whales, marine turtles, dolphins, red footed and masqued boobies can be seen.


History

The Galápagos were discovered by chance in March 10, 1535 when Dominican Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the Bishop of Panama, sailed to Peru to settle a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and his lieutenants after the conquest of the Incas, while performing an administrative mission for the Spanish Monarch Carlos V. The bishop's ship stalled when the winds died and strong currents carried him out to the Galápagos. In his account of the adventure, addressed to Emperor Carlos V, Berlanga described the harsh, desert-like condition of the islands and their trademark giant tortoises. He wrote about the marine iguanas, the sea lions and the many types of birds. He also noted the remarkable tameness of the animals that continues to thrill and delight modern visitors. March 10 is the 69th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (70th in Leap years). ... Events January 18 - Lima, Peru founded by Francisco Pizarro April - Jacques Cartier discovers the Iroquois city of Stadacona, Canada (now Quebec) and in May, the even greater Huron city of Hochelaga (now Montreal) June 24 - The Anabaptist state of Münster (see Münster Rebellion) is conquered and disbanded. ... Statue of Fray Tomás in Berlanga de Duero Fray Tomás de Berlanga (1487-1551) was born in Berlanga de Duero in Soria, Spain. ...


The islands are believed to date back to six million years ago as a result of volcanic activity generated beneath the ocean's floor. They were uninhabited, although Thor Heyerdahl in 1963 reported findings of pottery of South American origin that suggested earlier contacts, a theory that appears to still be controversial. The archipelago was used as hiding place by the English pirates that pilfered the Spanish galleons carrying gold and silver from South America to Spain. Thor Heyerdahl (October 6, 1914 in Larvik, Norway–April 18, 2002 in Colla Micheri, Italy) was (originally) a Norwegian marine biologist with a great interest in anthropology, who became famous for his Kon-Tiki Expedition in which he sailed by raft 4,300 miles from South America to the Tuamotu... 1963 was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ...


The islands first appeared on maps in about 1570 in those drawn by Abraham Ortelius and Mercator. The islands were called "Insulae de los Galopegos" (Islands of the Tortoises). Abraham Ortelius. ... Gerardus Mercator (March 5, 1512 - December 2, 1594) was a famous Flemish cartographer, remembered for the Mercator projection named after him. ...


The first Englishman to visit Galápagos was Richard Hawkins, in 1593. From that time until 1816 many famous pirates visited the archipelago. Sir Richard Hawkins (c. ...


Alexander Selkirk, the man whose adventures in Juan Fernández Islands inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe, visited the Galápagos in 1708 after he was picked up from Juan Fernández by the privateer Woodes Rogers. Rogers was refitting his ships in the islands after sacking Guayaquil. Alexander Selkirk (or Selcraig), (1676-1723) was a sailor who spent 4 years as a castaway on an uninhabited island; he is supposed to be the prototype of Defoes Robinson Crusoe. ... Daniel Defoe Daniel Defoe ( 1660 – April 24, 1731) was an English writer and journalist, who first gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. ...


The first scientific mission to the Galápagos arrived in 1790 under the leadership of Alessandro Malaspina, a Sicilian captain whose expedition was sponsored by the King of Spain. However, the records of the expedition were lost. Alessandro Malaspina (1754-1810) was a Spanish naval officer and explorer. ...


In 1793, James Collnet made a description of the flora and fauna of Galápagos and suggested that the islands could be used as base for the whalers operating in the Pacific Ocean. He also draw the first accurate navigation charts of the islands. Whalers killed and captured thousands of the Galápagos tortoises to extract their fat. The tortoises could also be kept on board ship as a means of providing of fresh protein as these animals could survive for several months on board without any food or water. The hunting of the tortoises was responsible for greatly diminishing and in some cases eliminating certain races. Along with whalers came the fur-seal hunters who brought the population of this animal close to extinction.


Ecuador annexed the Galápagos Islands on February 12, 1832, naming it Archipelago of Ecuador. This was a new name that added to several names that had been, and are still, used to refer to the archipelago. The first governor of Galápagos, General José de Villamil, brought a group of convicts to populate the island of Floreana and in October 1832 some artisans and farmers joined. February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1832 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


The Voyage of the Beagle brought the survey ship HMS Beagle under captain Robert FitzRoy to the Galápagos on September 15, 1835 to survey approaches to harbors. The captain and others on board including his companion the young naturalist Charles Darwin made a scientific study of geology and biology on four of the thirteen islands before they left on October 20 to continue on their round-the-world expedition. The governor of the prison colony on Charles Island told Darwin that tortoises differed from island to island, and when specimens of birds were analysed on return to England it was found that many different kinds of birds were species of finches which were also unique to islands. These facts were crucial in Darwin's development of his evolution theory, which was presented in The Origin of Species. HMS Beagle, from an 1841 watercolour by Owen Stanley The Voyage of the Beagle refers to the survey expedition of the ship HMS Beagle under captain Robert FitzRoy which set out on 27 December 1831. ... For other RN ships of this name, see HMS Beagle (disambiguation). ... Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy (July 5, 1805 - April 30, 1865) achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle and a pioneering meteorologist who invented weather forecasts, also proving an able surveyor and hydrographer as well as a Governor of New Zealand. ... September 15 is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years). ... 1835 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Charles Darwin, about the same time as the publication of The Origin of Species. ... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area  - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population  - Total (2001)  - Density Ranked 1st UK 49,138,831 377/km² Religion... Genera Many, see text Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, the many species of which are found chiefly in the northern hemisphere, but also to a limited extent in Africa and South America. ... Charles Darwin, the father of modern evolutionary theory In the life sciences, evolution is a change in the traits of living organisms over generations, including the emergence of new species. ... The 1859 edition of On the Origin of Species First published in 1859, The Origin of Species (full title On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life) by British naturalist Charles Darwin is one of the pivotal...


José Valdizán and Manuel Julián Cobos tried a new colonization, beginning the exploitation of a type of lichen found in the islands (Roccella portentosa) used as a coloring agent. After the assassination of Valdizán by some of his workers, Cobos brought from the continent a group of more than a hundred workers to San Cristóbal island and tried his luck at planting sugar cane. He ruled in his plantation with an iron hand which lead to his assassination in 1904. Since 1897 Antonio Gil began another plantations in Isabela island.


Over the course of a whole year, from September 1904, an expedition of the Academy of Sciences of California, led by Rollo Beck, stayed in the Galápagos collecting scientific material on geology, entomology, ornithology, botany, zoology and herpetology. Another expedition from the same Academy was done in 1932 (Templeton Crocker Expedition) to collect insects, fish, shells, fossils, birds and plants.


During WWII Ecuador authorized the United States to establish a naval base in Baltra island and radar stations in other strategic locations.


In 1946 a penal colony was established in Isabela Island, but was suspended in 1959.


UNESCO declared the Galápagos Islands Humanity Natural Heritage in 1979 and, six years later, a Biosphere Reserve (1985), which has resulted in an even greater interest at the international level. A Biosphere Reserve is an international conservation designation for reserves designated by UNESCO under the MaB (Man and the Biosphere) Programme. ...


See also

Galápagos is a province in Ecuador in the Galápagos Islands. ...

References

  • Thor Heyerdahl and Arne Skjolsvold, Archaeological Evidence of Pre-Spanish Visits to the Galapagos Islands, Memoirs 12, Society for American Archaeology, 1956
  • Quammen, David, (1996). The Song of the Dodo. Touchstone, New York.

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. Thor Heyerdahl (October 6, 1914 in Larvik, Norway–April 18, 2002 in Colla Micheri, Italy) was (originally) a Norwegian marine biologist with a great interest in anthropology, who became famous for his Kon-Tiki Expedition in which he sailed by raft 4,300 miles from South America to the Tuamotu... 1956 was a leap year starting on Sunday. ... 1996 is a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... City nickname: The Big Apple Location in the state of New York Counties (Boroughs) Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg Area  - Land  - Water 1,214. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1911) in many ways represents the sum of knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century. ...


External links

  • Galapagos Islands xeric scrub (World Wildlife Fund) (http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/nt/nt1307_full.html)
  • Galápagos Marine ecoregion (World Wildlife Fund) (http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/where_we_work/ecoregions/global200/pages/regions/region215.htm)
  • Charles Darwin Foundation (http://www.darwinfoundation.org/)
  • Galápagos geology (http://www.geo.cornell.edu/geology/Galapagos.html) - the page also icludes much general information on Galapágos islands

 
 

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