Sadly, we’re long gone from the Galapagos. But it’s a place of such unique beauty that visions of the islands keep coming back to us, in our thoughts and conversations. Sometimes even in our dreams.
Especially the sea lions. Those darn critters are so freakin’ cute that you can’t help but fall in love with them. Doesn’t matter if you’re a dog person or a cat person, or if you like hamsters or birds, or if you’re one of those nut jobs who keeps pet spiders and snakes in a terrarium. Sea lions in their wild habitat are going to win your heart.
The giant tortoises might not be as cute as the sea lions, but they’re still very popular.
You might not think iguanas are cute at all, but I’ll bet you can’t resist one that has a lizard hitching a ride.
I don’t know to what extent birds can ever really be considered “cute” – at least not compared to dogs and cats and sea lions – but in the Galapagos, many of the bird species are beautiful and unique. The blue-footed boobies are practically an icon of Galapagos tourism.
There are also red-footed boobies. For some reason, they don’t get as much press as their blue-footed cousins.
The Nazca boobies are a murderous lot. The female lays two eggs. The first hatchling is nurtured and fed in the usual manner. When the second chick hatches, its older sibling pushes it out of the nest. The mother is indifferent to this villainous act. Neglected and left to the elements, the younger chick perishes. But this form of fratricide is necessary for the species’ survival.
The flightless cormorant has only vestiges of wings. It has evolved into a skillful swimmer who seeks prey in the water. After each swim, it has to spread its winglets so they can dry.
I can’t leave out the Magnificent Frigate. This large seabird never actually lands in the water, because unlike other seabirds, it doesn’t have an oil-secreting gland to keep its feathers dry. Instead it steals food from other predator birds, including the boobies. The male frigate attracts its mate via an enlarged, inflated bright-red pouch. Feel free to make up your own engorgement sex joke, but please keep it to yourself. This is a family-friendly blog. We don’t want to traumatize the kids with inappropriate dick humor. Oh shit, did I just say “dick”? Fuck, I didn’t mean to.
We conclude this episode with a few more random pics. Dream on.