GALAPAGOS

The islands where Darwin developed the theory of evolution are well worth a visit.  The animals are not afraid of humans so they can be observed at close range.

 

Blue-footed Boobies

The mating ritual of these birds is fascinating.  The males whistle and show off their feet.  They also flap their wings.  The females honk if they are interested.  The male then offers the female a piece of straw.  If she accepts, the straw is used to start a nest on the ground.  The nest is then surrounded with a ring of guano which keeps the predators at bay.

Ecuador 046.jpg (122551 bytes)

Ecuador 049.jpg (140196 bytes)

Ecuador 136.jpg (139232 bytes)

Ecuador 133.jpg (145755 bytes)

Ecuador 122.jpg (123536 bytes)

 

Sea Lions

These animals are very friendly and curious, especially the females and pups.  The large bulls are very protective of their territory.  They spend most of the day sleeping on the beach.

Ecuador 048.jpg (98576 bytes) Ecuador 066.jpg (55219 bytes) Ecuador 039.jpg (98012 bytes) Ecuador 067.jpg (53072 bytes) Ecuador 065.jpg (60070 bytes)

 

Iguanas

The largest iguana we encountered was walking down the street in the town where we picked up the boat.  Once we got out to the remote islands we saw lots of red marine iguanas.  These are found no where else in the world.

Ecuador 023.jpg (98755 bytes) Ecuador 040.jpg (131163 bytes) Ecuador 029.jpg (116179 bytes)

 

Frigate Birds/Masked Boobies

Male frigate birds have an inflatable membrane in their chests which they inflate to attract females.  Without blue feet or red chests, the masked boobies relay on their faces to attract a mate.

Ecuador 138.jpg (145077 bytes) Ecuador 139.jpg (111032 bytes) Ecuador 082.jpg (112917 bytes) Ecuador 084.jpg (100175 bytes)