Galapagos Cruises, Tours and Vacations
How did the animals and the plants arrive?
The first species of the flora and fauna were carried here by the winds and ocean currents. The great majority came from the coasts of South and Central America.
Galapagos: paradise of reptiles
Vegetation rafts from the continent would take a minimum of two weeks to reach Galapagoes. Only those species capable of with standing the lack of water, such as reptiles, could survive this journey. In the absence of mammalian predators and competitors, reptiles such as the tortoises and land iguanas thrived and became the dominant land animals.
Amphibians, such as frogs, that have a moist and sensitive skin, live very little time without freshwater and shade. Amphibians do not occur in the Archipelagos; if one had been trapped on a natural raft it would have died long before reaching the islands.
After arrival, there were many difficulties.
The pioneer species had to find a place to live, find a mate and raise young. Very few were successful. Those able to adapt faced a new and fascinating process of natural selection.
Why are the plants and animals of Galapagos different from those on the mainland?
Evolution, or change in the form and behavior of species, obeys the necessity of adaptation to a new environment. Only those most fit can survive; the less fit are eliminated. This dramatic process is known as natural selection. The evolution of species, as a consequence of natural selection, makes it possible that, from generation to generation, favorable characteristics are transmitted that permits a better adaptation. For this reason, the organisms that now inhabit the islands are very different from their main land ancestors.