All together there are 27 different species of reptiles that can be found in the Galapagos. The following is a brief look 3 groups of them: the Galapagos iguana, the Galapagos tortoise, and the Galapagos turtles.
Reptiles of Galapagos- Iguanas
Two very different types of iguana can be found in the Galapagos: the Galapagos land iguana, and the Galapagos marine iguana.
Galapagos Land Iguana
Although Galapagos land iguana are found in plentiful numbers, you'll need to visit either Santa Cruz, Plazza, Isabela, Fernandina or Santa Fe islands if you want to see them. A visit to any of the aforementioned four islands will allow you the chance to see the Conolphus Subscristatus Galapagos land iguana, which has a yellow-orange complexion and spends most of its time feeding on the cactus in abundance. A visit to Santa Fe, on the other hand, will bring you in contact with the Conolphus Pallidus Galapagos land iguana, which has a brown and whitish complexion. Again though, this Galapagos iguana will spend most of its time feeding on the fauna and fruits found in abundance around the island.
As an added bonus, Galapagos land iguana are seen as being some of the most tame iguana in the world, which is why most Galapagos tours provide you with the perfect opportunity to visit with them.
Galapagos Marine Iguana
The Galapagos marine iguana is one of the most unusual forms of marine mammal life found anywhere in the world - and should be included as a "must do" on any Galapagos tour.
In short, the Galapagos marine iguana is the only known iguana in the world that will purposely go into the ocean. Once in the water, the Galapagos marine iguana uses its specially adapted tail to dive at least fifteen meters below sea-level, where it will stay and eat the seaweed for anything up to thirty minutes before resurfacing.
A tour to the Galapagos Islands will provide you with one of only two known chances to see the Giant Tortoise - the Galapagos Giant Tortoise. Originally, 14 different subspecies of the Galapagos tortoise could be found on the islands. Sadly, however, today only 11 of those species remain in existence. In order to try and preserve the number of Galapagos tortoise, the Charles Darwin Research Station (part of the Charles Darwin Foundation) has instigated a conservation scheme aimed ay increase the number of Galapagos tortoise.
Visitors to the Galapagos Islands should keep in mind that name of the very islands themselves (Galapagos) are derived from the saddleback tortoise - Galapagos, as a translation, means saddleback! So, the Galapagos tortoise could rightful claim itself to be the symbol of the islands.
The Pacific green turtle nest in the Galapagos all year round. However, this particular Galapagos turtle mates during the months of December and January, and so this is generally thought to be the best time of year to visit is you want to include Galapagos turtles in you Galapagos islands tour. No visit to see the Galapagos turtles is complete, however, without a brief tour of the Charles Darwin Foundation, where lots of very useful research is being conducted on the turtles; and, in particular, why it is that they seem to favour Florin beach as their favourite nesting beach.
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