Video of the Giant Tortioses in the Scalesia Forest Highlands and at the
Darwin Research Station
 on Santa Cruz Island

Fourth Day: June 6, 2008
 Puerto Ayora, Academy Bay, Santa Cruz Island (Indefatigable)
380 Square Miles and 7 vegetation zones
An overnight sail from Floreana for an early morning arrival.
Dry landing / Temperature 77F
Bus Ride to Highlands while others hiked to the beach in Tortuga bay. Highlands Scalesia Forest,
Rancho Permiso, Beach walking, Lava Tube, Pit Craters, swimming pool & massage at the Finch Bay Hotel,
The Darwin Research Station, a walk through town and shopping.


The Galapagos tortoise is the largest living tortoise. It can weigh over 500 pounds and measure 6 feet from head to tail. It is a very
slow-moving animal, moving only 0.16 miles per hour. Only 11 of the14 subspecies of Tortoises remains. Giant Tortoises live from 50 to 200 years.
The Galapagos tortoise has a very large shell made of bone. The shell can be domed, saddle-backed or somewhere in between.
Domed shells are found on tortoises that live in areas with lush vegetation. Saddle-back shells allow the tortoise to reach vegetation higher off the ground.
This shell is more common in areas with less vegetation. The character ET was designed after the Galapagos tortoise.
Our naturalist Blanca is simulating a finch. When the finch fly’s next to a tortoise,
the tortoise wants to raise itself up high on its legs & stretch out its neck so that the bird can reach ticks on its skin,
thus freeing the tortoise from harmful parasites & providing the finch with an easy meal, a mutualistic symbiotic relationship.

Update: Lonesome George (the last known individual of the Pinta Island Tortoise)
has mated for the first time in years right after our departure.




More Movie Clips from the Galapagos Islands

Photos from Santa Cruz Island








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