Tourism Ireland

Animals of the Galapagos

by Akhil Kalepu

Nov 2, 2016

Sea Lion of the Galapagos © Morten Elm | Dreamstime

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Wildlife enthusiasts should make the Galapagos a bucket list destination, purely due to the many species exclusive to the islands. That’s about 80 percent of the land birds, 97 percent of the reptiles and land mammals and 20 percent of the marine life. If you’re planning a visit to the Galapagos, keep an eye out for these unique animals.


A photo posted by Quinn Miller-Bedell (@quinnmb) on


Sea Lions

Galapagos sea lions are known to be friendly, spending 70 percent of their time on the beach or close to shore — you can even snorkel with them.




The local species are called large painted locusts, named for their eight-centimeter-long bodies and the bright yellow stripes on their exoskeletons.




Galapagos penguins are the only penguins found on and above the equator. They can be found on many of the islands, but the population has dwindled down to only 2,000, making them endangered.


A photo posted by danbyrne. (@danbyrne__) on



These majestic creatures regularly surpass 100 years in age. They were also instrumental in Darwin’s theory of natural selection, with the different populations on each island having a unique size and shape of shell.


A photo posted by Dreda Darling (@dreda238) on



Funny name aside, Galapagos boobies come in three varieties: red-footed, blue-footed and Nazca. Blue-footed boobies are the most commonly spotted on the shore.


A photo posted by Soph Marsh (@soph.marsh.20) on



Darwin wasn’t a fan of iguanas, saying the land species “have a singularly stupid appearance,” and calling their marine cousins “clumsy lizards … imps of darkness.”


A photo posted by @ianspencerphotography on



Like tortoises, the 15 species of Darwin’s finches inspired the scientist’s theory of evolution.



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