Galapagos Species Arrival
Created from a volcanic hot spot located on the ocean floor, the Galapagos are oceanic islands which have never been connected to a continent. All of the organisms found in the Galapagos arrived in the islands by swimming, flying or floating.
The majority of organisms present in the Galapagos originated from North, South or Central America the Caribbean or the Antarctic. The unique location of the archipelago in relation to Southern Humboldt Current and Northern Panama Current has played a large role in the unique mix of plants that made their way to the islands.
The currents and the trade winds have transported plants and animals to these remote islands that have a distinctly different biological make-up than those species found on the neighboring continent. California Sea Lions, Pink Flamingos, Finches, and Warblers made their way south from North America and the Caribbean while Fur Seals and Penguins made their way north from Antarctica.
Species had 3 methods of arrival in the islands, marine life including whales, dolphins, fish, seals and penguins arrived by swimming along with the currents. Birds arrived by flying as did many seeds, mosses orchids and ferns, which arrived by air currents rather than actual flight. Other species like tortoises, iguanas, trees, insects, and some seeds arrived by floating either due to a built-in air chamber or by floating on trees and other plants.
Once these species arrived the islands became populated with an unbalanced collection of species; the presence of reptiles but no amphibians, numerous birds but few mammals, grasses and ferns but hardly any plants with large flowers or heavy seeds.
The species that were able to make the journey across the ocean began to distribute themselves throughout the archipelago. Since the landscape and resources of each island varied the plants and animals able to establish themselves on the islands varied too. Many species found it necessary to adapt to the environment in order to survive. As the years progressed and adaptations occurred new species and subspecies began to populate the islands. The lack of natural predators allowed many species to flourish and eventually give the Galapagos their unique make up.