The world's rarest animals
One of the best known is the Galápagos tortoise, which lives on seven of the islands. It has an average lifespan of more than 150 years. The Marine Iguana is also extremely unusual, since it is the only iguana adapted to life in the water. Land iguanas, lava lizards, geckos and other harmless snakes can also be found in the Islands.
The large number and range of birds is also of interest to scientists and tourists. Around 56 varieties live in the archipelago, of which 27 are found only in the Galápagos. Some of these are found only on one island. The most outstanding are penguins, which live on the colder coasts, Darwin's finches, frigatebirds, albatrosses, gulls, boobies,pelicans and Galápagos Hawks, among others. The Flightless Cormorant, a peculiar bird which has lost the ability to fly, is aiso part of this rich fauna.
On the other hand, there are few mammal species, mostly sea mammals such as whales, dolphins and sea lions. A few species of endemic Galapagos mice (or Rice rats) - the Santiago Galapagos Mouse and the Fernandina Galapagos Mouse - have been recently rediscovered.