The Galápagos Islands, formed by underwater volcanic eruptions, were initially inhospitable for animals. Only cold blooded reptiles, which floated on vegetation rafts from the mainland during flash floods, were able to quickly adapt to the harsh environments. You will not find any big mammals on these islands. Reptiles, which are salt-tolerant and capable of enduring extreme temperatures and long periods of time without food or water settled on the islands.
Today, small and large reptiles dominate the Galápagos. The marine iguana is one of the most prominent inhabitants. It is the only sea-going lizard in the world. Visitors can often spot these rubbery creatures hanging out in groups, often on top of one another, basking in the sun, or leaving footprints on the sand. They are not afraid of humans because, after eons without terrestrial predators, they have learned not to fear animals on land.
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