Sadly, we just left the Galapagos. Already I miss the heat, the food and the animals. The unique thing about the animals is that many of them only live in the Galapagos Islands. Everywhere we looked one appeared. It was surprising to see tonnes of the same species over and over again.
One of the first things we did was go to a tortoise reserve. I learned that they can live up to 150 years old! Some of them have long necks so they can reach tall bushes and some have short necks because they eat grass on the ground. Some have shells that can cover their head for protection like an umbrella, but not all do. There are many places in the Galapagos that are helping to protect the tortoises. When the tortoises lay their eggs the eggs and babies are raised in captivity. When they are about 2 years old they are moved out into the wild. This helps the tortoises because if they were in the wild there are many things that could kill them before they are even born. Goats and donkeys can dig up tortoise egg nests and stomp on them and dogs can eat the eggs.
One of the first places we saw animals was on the dock. We saw many marine iguanas who would climb up the rocks and warm themselves with the sun on the dock. The marine iguana is very special to the Galapagos. One day iguanas came to the Galapagos and found algae. Some decided not to eat it but most did. The ones that did not eat the algae sadly died. The ones that ate the algae survived. Through evolution, their snouts become shorter and they have become great swimmers and divers so they can eat the algae.
We found tonnes of sea lions, especially on the dock. They were usually sleeping on a bench or on a boat. My family and I did not like the smell of them. They were pretty stinky. We couldn't really follow the rule of standing 2m away because the sea lions would pop up everywhere!
We discovered pelicans. They were pretty big for a bird. Their beaks are really sharp on the end and when they blink their eyelids close sideways instead of down. This way, when they dive down into the water head first, they don't get water in their eyes!
Darwin's finches are everywhere! They are special to the Galapagos because Charles Darwin studied them and that's how they got their name. There are some that drink blood from the pelicans, others are like woodpeckers and they grind holes in wood to get bugs out and some eat seeds. Each species of finch has a different beak that is adapted to how they eat and helps them to survive.
In Santa Cruz, we went on a snorkelling tour and we saw eagle rays, green sea turtles (which was my first time swimming with them), blue footed boobie birds, tonnes of fish and sea lions. Speaking of sea lions, when we went on a hike with the snorkelling group, as we got off the boat onto the dock, a sea lion was blocking our way. We had to step over it to start the hike. As the last person got off, the sea lion barked and the man fell into the ocean, lost his GoPro, but found it again.
I learned that if you look into the stories of these animals they clearly belong to the Galapagos. I have always loved nature but even more now. I hope we can volunteer with animals on this trip!
We're the Danchuks - follow our explorations and family adventures in a wide world (2018).