The Galápagos Islands, located roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, remained a closely-guarded natural secret for millions of years. Sometime in the 1800s, pirates and explorers started arriving in the Galápagos Islands. The most famous early visitor was Charles Darwin, a young naturalist who spent 19 days studying the islands' flora and fauna in 1835.
In 1859, Darwin published On the Origin of Species, which introduced his theory of evolution — and the Galápagos Islands — to the world.
The land iguana species has its origin in a common ancestor with the marine iguana, about 10.5 million years ago. The iguana grows up to a length of 5 ft and can weigh up to 25 pounds.
They are herbivores, feeding mainly on the prickly-pear cactus but eventually would feed on insects and other invertebrates.
Marine iguanas from Española Island are the most colourful and have sometimes been called "Christmas iguanas
The marine iguana, also known as the sea iguana, saltwater iguana, or Galápagos marine iguana, is a species of iguana found only on the Galápagos Islands. Unique among modern lizards, it is a marine reptile that has the ability to forage in the sea for algae, which makes up almost all of its diet.
Sally Lightfoot Crabs
The Sally Lightfoot Crab is an unmistakable creature due to their striking colors which make them extremely photogenic against the black lava rocks they call home. Sally Lightfoot crabs can walk on water – with just a quick hop, skip and jump to escape from danger. They are also one of the most frequently spotted creatures on Galapagos shores.
It seems everywhere you go in the Galapagos, little lava lizards scurry about.
These small lizards, some reaching a foot long or more, hang out on rocks or in scrubby vegetation.
There are 13 living species of Galápagos tortoises. These reptiles are among the longest-lived of all land vertebrates, averaging more than a hundred years and are the world's largest tortoises, with some specimens exceeding five feet in length and reaching more than 500 pounds.
Giant tortoises were once so abundant on the Galápagos archipelago off Ecuador that the Spanish sailors who explored the region in 1535 named the string of islands for them. The Spanish word for tortoise is galápago.
The Galapagos sea lion is one of the most common animals of the Galapagos. They grow to a length of 60 to 100 inches and can weigh up to 550lb. They have external ears and the capacity of using their strong frontal fins to gallop inland and climb the rocky shores of the islands. The Galapagos sea lion, prefers the beach to the rocks and form colonies on them.
They also like to swim in the water and are playful, swimming up to and teasing tourist snorkelers.