Galapagos Essay

1488 words - 6 pages

The Galapagos Islands is just off of the coast of South America, the islands belong to Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands are located about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. "There are 13 large islands, 6 smaller ones and 107 islets and rocks." (Galapagos Conservation Trust, 2007).Charles Darwin had studied a mixture of plant life and animals here. The Galapagos Islands are well-known for the diversity of vegetation and animals that is located on the Islands. The Galapagos Islands are found on the equator a little west of the South American coast. The Islands were formed by mantel hot spots, like many other islands. The Galapagos were created by the Cocas and the Nazca plate, which are constantly moving.There are many different species of plants and animals that live on the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos is home to the single penguin that can live in warm waters. The marine iguana eats the seaweed and the famous Giant Tortuous which has evolved many times, to just name a few. There are some amazing plants, for example, the Scalesia also know as the tree daisy, is a beautiful white flower with a light pink pigment. These plants and animals need to be protected if they are to survive any longer.The Finches on the Galapagos Islands have evolved over the years because of their beaks. The beaks are larger and much harder to open the larger nuts. There was a severe drought in 1977 which made the vegetation wilt, which left very few soft seeds and a number of larger hard ones. "The birds that survived the 1977 drought tended to be larger, with bigger beaks" (Grant, 1986). These birds survived because of their ability to produce offspring that could deal with the larger harder nuts. The finches are a classic example of Darwin's theory of evolutionary process.There are different types of threats to the islands population of plants and animals. The goats "devoured the lush vegetation carpeting the flanks of Alcedo Volcano" (Jocelyn Kaiser, 2001), which the Giant Tortuous thrive in and need to survive. To save the natural plants and animal's people have made decisions to rid themselves of these pests. Hunters have come in to shoot and kill the goats but a few remain to clear the brush so the hunters can find the pigs inhabiting the island. "The planned Isabela goat removal is no less than a battle to save the Galapagos' largest remaining population of giant tortoises, an icon of the famous archipelago 965 kilometers off Ecuador's coast" (Jocelyn Kaiser, 2001). Survival of the fittest will always win this type of game unless people interfere, which normally happens.The islands are bountiful in different types of beautiful vegetation for all to see, but these things will end if problems keep up. "There are about 560 native species of plants in the islands, in other words, plants which arrived in the islands by natural means" (Galapagos Flora). These plants include passion flower, cotton, guava, pepper, and tomato which most are only found on the islands. Some...

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