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Issue #105, December 2003

1) Commemorating 168 years of Charles Darwin's Visit
2) The Three Gannets (Boobies) in the Galapagos
3) December's Natural Events in Galapagos
4) Galapagos Site Map

1) Commemorating 168 years of Charles Darwin's Visit: In the morning of September 15th, 1835, Charles Darwin arrived to San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Archipelago, on board the H.M.S. Beagle.

This was a revealing trip for Charles, since the Beagle sailed the world for five years, and not only places of extreme beauty were visited, but of extreme differences and varied ecosystems.

The mission of the Beagle did not include a "naturalist-only" approach, since its main goal was surveying of areas that lacked such detailed work.

Captain Robert Fitzroy, was probably the best qualified officer for this type of works. During the voyage, Fitzroy would need the company of someone who would allow him to analyze different views.

Charles Darwin was more than a naturalist on board the Beagle; little by little, he became Fitzroy's best source of companionship.

Charles Darwin visited few of the Galapagos Islands: San Cristobal, Floreana, Santiago and Isabela, before heading to Tahiti (Society Islands).

It was only a matter of time until his observations turned into the theory that would change our views about what lives around us. It was in 1859 that the book "Origin of Species" got published.

More About Charles Darwin History

2) The Three Gannets (Boobies) in the Galapagos: Sea birds are amazing vertebrates that feed within the ocean. However, they still need to return to land for nesting purposes.

This is the beauty Galapagos offers, while next to a crucial survival strategy. Survival is key to a simple process, called reproduction. Without it, species cannot continue their legacy. Survival requires amazing adaptations, and these require time.

The Islands' ecosystems support three species of boobies birds (gannets for scientific purposes). The diversity of nesting and feeding grounds allow the three species to coexist without competition.

In boobies, this translates to feeding within few miles off the coast, feeding between the islands, and feeding far away from the Islands.

Respectively, these are the blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, and the red-footed boobies. Few locations in Galapagos offer the three species nesting together, but a well planned Galapagos itinerary will let you see all three.

The best booby colonies are seen at Espanola, Genovesa, North Seymour and Isabela Islands. Boobies are great features of the Galapagos National Park.

Read All About Galapagos Boobies

3) December's Natural Events (Quick fact sheet of what is happening now in Galapagos):

  • Hatching of giant tortoise's eggs begins and lasts until April
  • Green sea turtles display their mating behavior
  • Beginning of the rainy season, the plants of the dry zone renew their foliage and Galapagos becomes "green"
  • The first young waved albatrosses fledge
  • Great weather. Mostly sunny days. Hardly any wind from the southeast. Waters continue to warm up.
  • Western Islands remain very dry. Water temperature still cool for long snorkeling periods.
  • First red pouches of Great frigatebirds seen at Genovesa.
  • Northern migrants have started their journey towards the south. Galapagos is a rest stop for these birds.

Read More About Galapagos Islands Facts

4) Galapagos Site Map: We have a new page up and running in our Site, actually it is the map of this entire Galapagos Site, where you can find hundreds of topics related to Galapagos.

Galapagos Island Map

More About Galapagos

Galapagos Coastal Birds

What Country Owns Galapagos Islands

Best Time to Visit Galapagos

Galapagos Post Office Bay

Economic Galapagos Trips

See you in the next issue of Galapagos Expedition and hoping you visit Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands soon...


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