The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most exotic fauna, birds, reptiles and marine life seen anywhere in the world. Included in these are hundreds of different species of fauna, birds, reptiles and marine life seen nowhere else apart from the Galapagos Islands. However, one reason why most people want to go on a Galapagos Islands tour is to do some scuba-diving and snorkelling. And, the reason why scuba-diving and snorkelling are so popular in particular, is due in no small part to the rich diversity of marine mammals that can be seen in the waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands.
Galapagos Sea Lions
Another of the spectacular marine mammals of the Galapagos Islands is the Galapagos Islands sea lion (Galapagos_sea_lion_pups.jpg). Although they're found all around the Galapagos Islands, if you venture over to South Plazza, Santa Fe, Rabida, Santiago Island, San Cristobel or Isabela Island you'll find you have the chance to do some diving and swimming with the sea lions that congregate in the rocks along the coastline. Likely as not, you'll also have the chance to see some of the male Galapagos Islands sea lions patrolling the pack of females and cubs (usually in groups of thirty or more).
Mating season for the Galapagos Islands sea lions is between May and January of each year, and during this time you'll see the domed fore-headed males keeping a very watchful eye on their females.
Galapagos Islands Fur Seals
These days you need to travel to either Santiago Island or Puerto Egas if you want to include the Galapagos fur seals among your itinerary of marine mammals of the Galapagos Islands as hunting of these mammals have driven them near to extinction. However, much smaller than the Galapagos seal lions, the fur seals, with their pointed noses and large rounded moist eyes, are far too cute a sight not to make the trip! Keep in mind though that these are an endangered species, so please don't touch - no matter how tame and playful they may seem.
Whale Watching in the Galapagos Islands
No tour of the Galapagos Islands would be complete without taking the opportunity to sightsee some of the whale species that can be found in the waters surrounding the islands. If this sounds particularly attractive to you, make your way over to Fernandina and Isabela islands, where, hopefully, you'll have the chance to see some Brydes. Pilot, Minke, Blue and Cuviers whales!
Other Galapagos Islands Marine Mammal Life
Aside from the amazing whales and cute Galapagos sea lions, the Galapagos Islands also boasts over twelve different species of sharks within its territorial waters. Amazingly, however, there has not been one recorded shark attack on a scuba-diver or snorkelling swimmer! Included in this spectacular array of sharks are the usual hammerhead, tiger, grey-reef, black-tip, and whale sharks.
Another marine mammal that all visitors to the Galapagos Islands look out for on their tours is the dolphin. Usually dolphins and sharks do not like to share the same territorial waters, but in the Galapagos Islands you'll have the chance to see both the common species of dolphin and the bottle-nose dolphin.