visiones de galápagos #2

One of the greatest appeals of diving for me is the ability to come close, sometimes really close to all kind of marine animals, big and small ones. It is something that is ultimately missing from most of wildlife interaction overland. Galapagos islands due to unique history of archipelago defy this common pattern - a lot of species living there are not afraid of people, due to evolution path which excluded need for them to be aware of predators in their daily life. For some species, like legendary giant tortoises, after that islands are named, this served pretty bad deal - they were "collected" almost to extinction by sailors stopping by archipelago for their meat and shells. Almost 300,000 of several tortoise species were killed, leaving few sub-species extinct. Good news is that now people are trying to rebuild their population in facilities like Charles Darwin Research station on Santa Cruz Island, but it will take many people generations to be realized - even 30-years old tortoies look very small, compared to matured adults, some of them are over hundred years old, and some of them actually met mr. Darwin in person. It was great fun to come close near these ancient giants and snap few wide-angle shots, very inspiring experience.

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Taken on November 6, 2008