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Transcript of http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images
Our next stop is Las Plazas
These are two Islands located off the west side of Santa Cruz
Sexual Selection in the Galapagos Islands
After 36 hours of travel,
Welcome to the Galapagos Islands!
First stop is to see the Galapagos Tortoises
Each of the Islands has a different subspecies of tortoise. This is a picture of the subspecies commonly found on Santa Cruz
There is a significant difference in size between the sexes. The tortoise on the small tortoise is female and the large is male.
This is Lonesome George. He was the last of his subspecies from Pinta Island and lived at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Notice the shape of his shell.
Take a look at the variety of tortoise shell shapes of the subspecies on each island. What type of selective pressures could have lead to these shell types?
The downfall of the Galapagos Tortoise
Watch the following video about Lonesome George and the impact humans have had on the Galapagos Tortoises. Pay close attention to the ways in which humans have caused a decline in the tortoise populations.
Land Iguanas are much larger than Marine Iguanas and eat cactus fruits and other terrestrial plan matter while Marine Iguanas are smaller with a flattened tail that acts as a rudder in the water. Marine Iguanas consume algae by diving underwater to graze on under water algae fields. Marine Iguanas have another unique
tions - they have glands on their
s to exp
Watch the video below about the Galapagos Marine Iguana. As you watch listen for the different ways the Marine Iguana is adapted to living in the harsh conditions of the islands.
The first hybrid between a land iguana and a marine iguana was found in the late 1990's. (A hybrid is a cross between two different species). Watch this video to hear where and why the hybrid exists.
The male magnificent frigate bird has a large red pouch under it's beak that it can inflate in order to attract females. The females choose those males based on their look and performance. Watch the video at the next stop to see the courtship behavior.
Courtship video of the Magnificent frigate bird
The blue footed booby has a unique courtship dance that involves picking up his feet and showing them to the ladies.
Invasive Species of the Galapagos
The oldest islands of the Galapagos archipelago are around 3,500,000 million years young. The islands are formed as the earth's crust moves over a thin area of the earth's crust which allows for the formation of volcanoes. The eruption of these volcanoes results in the formation of islands. In the 16th century the bishop of Panama visited and called the islands "Hell on Earth" as the land is VERY inhospitable - hot, arid, rocky, and barren.
Darwin arrived on the Islands in 1835 and the Islands have become famous for their extraordinary wildlife and peak into the mysteries world of evolution. This video clip shows you a few of the fascinating areas found in the Galapagos Islands.
Under the sea in the Galapagos
Goats are probably the most famous invasive species on the Galapagos Islands. Goats were originally introduced as a food source but without any natural predators the goat populations quickly grew. Goats out competed the tortoises as they ate the same low growing plants. Most goats have been eradicated through a really intensive extermination program.
This is a short video that mentions some of the Invasive species found in the Galapagos
This is a sea cucumber, a member of the Echniodermata. Sea cucumbers are a popular food source as well as a source of contention between conservations and fishermen. Fishing of sea cucumbers is now limited to certain time of year in order to protect the populations
Galapagos penguins inhabit the water surrounding the Galapagos islands. This is the furthest north you will find any species of penguin. In fact penguins are not found north of the equator!!
There are a number of species of sharks that inhabit the waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands. This is a scalloped hammerhead. Imagine running into him while you snorkled! You would also be likely to see the Galapagos Shark (like the great white of the area) as well as black fined sharks.
Galapagos Sea Lions abound in the islands and are very friendly. One way to tell the difference between a sea lion and a seal are that sea lions have ear flaps. There is also a species of Galapagos Fur Seal, but these are more rare as they are nocturnal