Monday, June 10, 2013

The Galapagos Islands: a place where nature and science meet

It is no coincidence that the most exotic species, rare and antique still survive in remote islands where
the main historical predator (man) took many many years to conquer. The cases are perhaps the most recognized of kangaroos and koalas in Australia, the New Zealand Kiwi or the Komodo dragons on the island that bears his name in Indonesia. An example, one of the most beautiful is that of iguanas and giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands. Another legacy of Latin America to the world.
The Galapagos Islands (Galapagos islands also and officially archipelago of Columbus) are an archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean 972 km off the coast of Ecuador. It is composed of 13 large islands with an area greater than 10km2, five medium-sized islands with an area of ​​1km2 to 10km2 and 215 other small islands of rocky promontories plus few square meters distributed around the line of Ecuador land.
The Galapagos Islands are famous for its numerous endemic species such as the giant tortoises, land and
marine iguanas, hammerhead sharks and birds. They are called by tourists, the "Enchanted Islands" as the flora and fauna found there is virtually unique and it can not be found anywhere else in the world. So many people visit and enjoys meeting the unique animals and plants.
A little history ... Galapagos Islands were discovered by chance on March 10, 1535, when the Dominican friar Tomás de Berlanga, Bishop of Panama, went to Peru in compliance with an order of the Spanish king Carlos V, to arbitrate in a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and his subordinates after the conquest of the Inca Empire. The first maps to include the islands were prepared by Abraham Ortelius and Mercator around 1570. The islands were described as "the Galopegos Insulae" (Turtle Island).

The Galapagos were used as a hideout for English pirates on their trips to plunder Spanish galleons carrying gold and silver from America to Spain. The first known pirate who visited the islands was Richard Hawkins, in 1593. From then until 1816 many pirates came to the archipelago. Finally, Ecuador annexed the Galapagos Islands February 12, 1832 under the government of General Juan José Flores, baptizing as Colon Archipelago.

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