The abundance of friendly and plentiful wildlife makes the Galapagos Islands a perfect destination for animal lovers. One of the greatest aspects of the trip to the islands, from a visitor’s point of view, is the fact that the animals living there are extremely tolerant of our presence; in fact, they have no natural fear of humans and allow us to approach them at close range.
Scientists agree that the Galapagos Islands were never connected to the mainland. Thus, the ancestors of every plant and animal species native to the islands arrived in the archipelago from somewhere else. Despite being separated by hundreds of miles from the mainland, most of the animals in the Galapagos originated from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Land birds and California sea lions arrived from North America, pink flamingos and Darwin’s finches from the Caribbean. Land iguanas, giant tortoises, pelicans, cormorants and boobies all arrived from South America. Fur sea lions and penguins came north thousands of years ago as a result of the Humboldt Current from the Antarctic. Animals that were not so adaptive to the ocean, such as land mammals, had to wait until passage was provided by human vessels.