The Galapagos Islands

1490 Words 6 Pages
The Galapagos Islands, located about 600 miles west of continental Ecuador, contain a rich history of settlement and exploration and represent a living example of evolution that is still relevant today. For centuries, this chain of volcanic islands has been used uniquely by various cultures based off distinct needs. What has remained the same however is the fact that island isolation has forced many animal and plant species to adapt differently from one another based off their island’s environmental conditions, creating a living model of microevolution over time. Today, these models tend to be the primary resources used by biology professors when teaching their students evolutionary topics. The Galapagos Islands are located in the …show more content…
Currently there are two islands, Isabella and Fernandina, which are still being molded today, and are thus still highly active volcanoes. The weather in the Galapagos consists of two different seasons. Both are marked all year by freezing rain due to the Humboldt Current flowing from the south. Other than this one similarity, the two seasons are completely opposites of one another. Constant wind and fog as well as regular rain showers that often last entire days characterize the months of June through November. December through May on the other hand is sunny, windless, and has very little precipitation. The Galapagos are also affected every three to seven years by a weather cycle known as El Nino. This climate pattern causes extreme drought, which greatly influences both terrestrial and marine organisms. It is characterized by a warming of sea temperature, rise in sea level, and depletion of nutrients. The Galapagos Islands hold a very extensive history marked by constant changes in reasons for people using them. The first documented discovery of the islands occurred in 1535 when Fray Tomas de Berlanga of Panama accidentally came cross them while attempting to sail from Peru back to Panama. There is much controversy however in regards to the truth behind him being the first to have found the islands. Records show that Incas used these islands for food and exploration years before Berlanga claimed to have found them. Nevertheless, the Galapagos remained unsettled