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Galapagos Tortoises in the Galapagos

Listed under Endangered Wildlife in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

  • Photo of Galapagos Tortoises in the Galapagos
  • Photo of Galapagos Tortoises in the Galapagos
  • Photo of Galapagos Tortoises in the Galapagos
Photo of Galapagos Tortoises in the Galapagos
Photo by Dave and Deb
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Seeing the Galapagos tortoise is one of the highlights of visiting the islands off the coast of Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands were even named after their massive shells. Sailors talked of these islands filled with giant turtles whose shells resembled a saddle – “galapago” in Spanish. They gave the tortoises their name and eventually the islands became known as the Galapagos.

These gental giants have a life span of 150 years. When fully grown they can weigh up to 500 pounds and reach lengths of 6 feet. It’s hard to believe that they start off so small and vulnerable.

Hatcheries and sanctuaries scatter the islands where tortoises are given a fighting chance. At one time, the tortoise only had one natural predator, the Galapagos Hawk, but with the coming of man, many new non-native predators were introduced to their environment. These animals, who were brought in by colonists make life impossible for the new hatchlings. Goats and pigs trample their nests, rats eat the eggs and ants swarm the new born tortoise as it climbs its way up through the earth. Man certainly made life difficult for the tortoise in the past.

Read more on The Planet D Blog.

Written by  Dave and Deb.

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