The lava heron uses its dark grey feathers as camouflage to stalk the crabs that live amongst the black lava rocks.
The Galapagos can change from a cool and rainy place to scorching hot very quickly. In response, lichen and giant dandelions have developed a symbiotic relationship. The dandelion provides moisture for the lichen, while the lichen provides sun protection for the dandelion.
There are thousands of untouched tunnels running under the Galapagos. The tunnels, called lava tubes, host unique species of animals and plants that are only now being documented.
As the Galapagos' volcanic islands die, they create strange currents and bays that mix both warm water for coral reefs and cold Antarctic currents for penguins.
Whales sharks come to the Galapagos in large numbers at the same time every year. Why they do this is still a mystery. It is not to feed but it could be that they come to the islands to give birth. Yet no whale pups have been seen.
It might sound bizarre, but one of the Galapagos islands is so remote that it has allowed a species of dandelion to evolve independent of other competing species. These dandelions grow so tall that they resemble huge rainforest trees.
Erosion over millions of years inevitably destroys all volcanic islands. Great pieces of the island will submerge, leaving only a ridge of cliff in the ocean. Despite this destruction, animals have evolved to live on these dying islands.
Marine iguana of the Galapagos have evolved from eating leaves on land, to diving for seaweed. It is an adaptation that has helped this animal survive on the harsh, windswept shores of the islands.
The Galapagos Islands contain many unique species, with each species displaying a variety of different adaptations to the islands' harsh environments. It is the perfect place to see evolution at work.
Volcanic islands eventually erode and sink back into the sea. The island of Espanola in the Galapagos is 4 million years old and sinking fast. But as it dies, it offers new opportunities for all sorts of animals.
The islands of the Galapagos show how a volcanic hot spot can create an island chain, which creates its own weather patterns.
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