Thursday, October 28, 2010

Galapagos Reflection: Giant Tortoise

The Giant tortoise, a Galapagos endemic animal, is one of the most spectacular sights in the annually shifting islands. They are only found in the Galapagos and has adapted from land to ocean. Their size, for example, has increased significantly due to island gigantism; they have no need to seek shelter from predators in their natural habitat. Also, their shells have reshaped throughout generations to accommodate to their lifestyle needs. The three different varieties include a dome, saddleback, and intermediate carapaces. The dome shell (found in the upper sections of the islands) provides foliage is dense and is commonly paired with shorter necks and limbs, whereas the saddle-back (found in the lower segments of the islands) equip tortoises with a shelter from the drier divisions and have longer limbs and necks. The saddle-back has been observed to be sighted (with modifications within each habitat) in a multitude of Galapagos islands, insisting that their qualities are viewed as "fit" in the natural field. Intermediate is a combination of the two, often referred to as the third race. Charles Darwin, an english naturalist, once embarked on a journey and discovered different "species" of each animal. Although Darwin was on the right track, modern scientists refer to the differently altered strains as a category under Darwin's more broad classification.

The Galapagos Islands is one of the most pristinely advertised locations on Earth. Whether these placards are true to their word or not, there is no denying the intriguing history and natural essence of the isles. From iguanas diving from the rocky shore in what looks like a suicide mission, to giant tortoises soaking up the sun and dozing for 16 hours a day, the flora and fauna are brimmed with life. However, it is aligned on the equator with a volcanic hotspot. The archipelago's specific layout displays older landforms starting on the far-east side, spanning out westward towards teenage islets. Active volcanoes are definitely anything but rare in this case. Nonetheless, the life outlives the land, but immigration and emigration has become an inscribed pattern, and will persist on throughout the years to come.

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