Galapagos Islands: Amazing Animal World

In the vast Pacific Ocean, there is one of the most significant discoveries in human history – the Galapagos Islands, which consists of 13 main islands and hundreds of small islands and reefs. Among the islands, some of the islands are covered with dry land, grotesque rocks and solidified lava after volcanic eruptions, which have few signs of life. On other islands, it is full of life. The soil here is fertile, home to a variety of amazing creatures and is known as the “Eden of Darwin”. There are several very unique animals in this Garden of Eden.

Giant tortoise
The giant tortoise on the Galapagos Islands is one of the most famous creatures in the Galapagos Islands. It is also the largest of the existing tortoises and can weigh up to 400 kilograms. Their stout thighs are More than an elephant, supporting a huge turtle’s back, but also from time to time to make a huge gasping, people shudder.

Biologists compared the genomes of the South American tortoises and the giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands and said that their genes are very similar, suggesting that they may belong to the same species. Not only that, but geologists believe that millions of years ago, there have been several extremely powerful ocean currents that brought many animals from South America to the Galapagos Islands, including the ancestors of giant tortoises. .

Therefore, the giant tortoise may not be the “indigenous people” of the island, but “floating” from South America under the influence of ocean currents. The experts also restored the process by which giant tortoises arrived on the island and evolved.

Many years ago, some tortoises in South America took their slow pace and stepped into the West Coast step by step, enjoying the coolness of the sea. Just then, a powerful ocean current flows northwest along the west coast. The power of the ocean currents prevents the tortoises from swimming back to the land of South America. They can only follow the direction of the ocean currents and drift in the ocean.

The ocean currents encountered the Galapagos Islands during the flow. Under the obstacles of the Galapagos Islands, the ocean currents were restricted, the flow became slow, and the tortoises were able to move. After several months of drifting, some tortoises could not withstand hunger and died, but some tortoises survived and enjoyed the joy of re-entering the land.

In the original Galapagos Islands, there were no food competitors and animals that could kill tortoises. The tortoises could eat rich food without worrying about the size of the enemy, so the tortoise was able to The land is unscrupulously foraging and breeding. Under the conditions of abundant food and no natural enemies, the tortoises began to flourish and their volume became larger and larger, and finally the giant tortoises were formed.

Amphibious marine iguana
Other researchers compared marine iguanas and South American lizards. They found that, like South American tortoises and giant tortoises, marine iguanas and South American lizards also have very similar genomes.

Therefore, scientists believe that the ancestors of marine iguanas are “drifted” by the ocean currents to the Galapagos Islands, but they are not the same as giant tortoises. They are not floating on the sea, but “carrying” ocean currents. The wood in the land successfully landed on the land of the Galapagos Islands.

Unfortunately, the ancestors of the marine iguanas boarded a desolate volcanic island in the Galapagos Islands. There are only black volcanic rocks on the land, and there is no food they depend on, so they can only hope for the bottom of the sea. On the rocks, the rocks are rich in green algae, which is their favorite food.

In order to survive, the ancestors had to learn to breathe underwater and evolved physical characteristics that adapted to underwater activities. When they jump into the sea, the flat tail like a fish can control the direction of the parade. When they reach the rock, long claws can hold the rock tightly. The flat nose and sharp teeth make it easy to scrape the green algae on the rocks so that they can enjoy delicious dishes from the ocean.

The marine iguana is the only “swimming swimmer” in lizard species and may be the world’s favorite “sneezing” lizard. This is because marine iguanas often sneak into seawater with a lot of salt. Even if they learn to hold their breath under water, they may enter the nostrils and the body, but they are not able to adapt to such high concentrations of salt water, so they collect Excess salt, and by sneezing, spray the salt out of the special glands in the nostrils.

If you see that the iguana has been sneezing, don’t feel anything strange, it may just be more salt.

Blue-legged ostrich that can’t stand the temptation
In fact, the first islands of the Galapagos Islands are not suitable for living, because on these islands, almost all of the lava formed after the volcanic eruption, it is difficult to form luxuriant plants on the lava, there are no animals. After thousands of years of rain, the rain eroded many volcanic lavas and formed the soil. The emergence of soil is an important signal for the beginning of animal and plant life.

Scientists believe that ferns and some lighter insects are either blown to the island by the wind, or by the “free ride” of seabirds. They come to some soiled islands, such as ferns. The soil thrives, insects also thrive in lush plants, and a large number of insects attract other birds. Scientists believe that the ancestors of the blue-footed ostrich were lured to the Galapagos Islands by these “delicious” insects.

The blue-footed ostrich on the Galapagos Islands has sharp conical cockles on both sides of the scorpion. The head has a thick brown-white texture, and the feathers on the body are mostly white. The wings are relatively narrow and the wingspan can reach 1.5 meters. The most striking thing is its bright blue feet.

But scientists believe that the feet of the blue-footed ostrich ancestors that were attracted to this may not be blue. They believe that the blue-footed ostrich ancestors came to the Galapagos Islands, while preying on insects, they also prey on a large number of fish off the island. After the carotenoids in these fishes entered the blue-footed ostrich, Reacts with specific proteins in the blue-footed ostrich, producing blue pigments that precipitate on the feet of the blue-footed ostrich and eventually put a pair of bright blue “boots” on the blue-footed ostrich.

Don’t underestimate the pair of “boots”, it is the secret weapon of the male blue-footed ostrich to attract the opposite sex. In the world of blue-footed ostriches, the brighter the “boots”, the more fish the male blue-footed ostrich preys, and the stronger the male. During the breeding season, it is often seen that the male blue-footed ostrich repeatedly waves its blue feet to spread the charm to the female, and the female is often attracted by the sexy feet of the male, and a courtship battle is done. .

The ocean drifters who were placed here by fate and the “flyers” who were attracted here, without exception, adapted to this initially desolate Galapagos Islands, made this strange and unique animal paradise .