Lonesome George was the last of his species of tortoise. He certainly was not the best looking tortoise as you can see in the title picture. However Cathy and I were lucky to see him on our trip to the Galapagos Islands as he passed away shortly after. No one knows the exact age of Lonesome George, however he died of natural causes at the quite young age of about 100 years. He is an extreme example of the unique flora and fauna of the Galapagos. The variations island to island were key to Darwin’s seminal work on evolution. Background on Charles Darwin
Cathy and I like visiting remote islands. The Galapagos Islands certainly fit the bill, and we wanted to see what Darwin saw.
In Darwin’s time, the Islands were already a stop over for sailing ships. The ships filled their holds with live tortoises as a source of fresh meat for their long Pacific voyages. Of course this had a major effect on populations. We were able to walk among the tortoises, and watch them sleep, eat and attempt to mate. I will forever remember a mating attempt go very wrong. First the male mounted the female backwards, then he slid off her back and crashed into a 4 inch tree which then fell to the ground. He seemed to be quite satisfied and lumbered off to eat.
We found the Galapagos Islands to be a photographer’s dream for land, air and sea creatures.
This is the first of three Galapagos blogs. The second blog will be on how we island hopped and where we stayed. The third blog will be about our Galapagos adventures including swimming with the sharks.