Santa Cruz Island (Galápagos)
Santa Cruz Island is one of the Galápagos Islands with an area of 986 km2 and a maximum altitude of 864 metres. Situated in the center of the archipelago, Santa Cruz is the second largest island after Isabela, its capital is the most populated urban centre in the islands. On Santa Cruz there are some small villages, whose inhabitants work in agriculture and cattle raising; this island is a large dormant volcano. It is estimated. There is a gigantic lava tunnel, over 2000 meters long on the island that many tourists visit and walk through; as a testimony to its volcanic history there are two big holes formed by the collapse of a magma chamber: Los Gemelos, or "The Twins". Named after the Holy Cross, its English name was given after a British vessel HMS Indefatigable. Santa Cruz hosts the largest human population in the archipelago at the town of Puerto Ayora, with a total of 12,000 residents on the island. Tortuga Bay is located on the Santa Cruz Island, a short walk from center of Puerto Ayora where you can view Marine iguanas, galapagos crabs and a natural mangrove where you can spot white tip reef sharks and the gigantic galápagos tortoise.
Charles Darwin Research Station Headquarters of the Galápagos National Park Service Lava tubes El Chato and Rancho Primicias Giant Tortoise Reserves Itabaca Channel Black Turtle Cove Cerro Dragón Tortuga Bay Playa El Garrapatero Los Gemelos Stand of Scalesia - daisy trees On June 19, 2002 the cities of Seabrook and Santa Cruz Island finalized a sister city status during a ceremony at Seabrook City Hall. Santa Cruz Island Information
The Galápagos Islands, part of the Republic of Ecuador, are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the centre of the Western Hemisphere, 906 km west of continental Ecuador. The islands are known for their large number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the second voyage of HMS Beagle, his observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection. The Galápagos Islands and their surrounding waters form the Galápagos Province of Ecuador, the Galápagos National Park, the Galápagos Marine Reserve; the principal language on the islands is Spanish. The islands have a population of over 25,000; the first recorded visit to the islands happened by chance in 1535, when Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the Bishop of Panamá, was surprised with this undiscovered land during a voyage to Peru to arbitrate in a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro.
De Berlanga returned to the Spanish Empire and described the conditions of the islands and the animals that inhabited them. The group of islands was shown and named in Abraham Ortelius's atlas published in 1570; the first crude map of the islands was made in 1684 by the buccaneer Ambrose Cowley, who named the individual islands after some of his fellow pirates or after British royalty and noblemen. These names were used in the authoritative navigation charts of the islands prepared during the Beagle survey under captain Robert FitzRoy, in Darwin's popular book The Voyage of the Beagle; the new Republic of Ecuador took the islands from Spanish ownership in 1832, subsequently gave them official Spanish names. The older names remained in use in English-language publications, including Herman Melville's The Encantadas of 1854. Volcanism has been continuous on the Galápagos Islands for at least 20 myr, even longer; the mantle plume beneath the east-ward moving Nazca Plate has given rise to a 3-kilometre-thick platform under the island chain and seamounts.
Besides the Galápagos Archipelago, other key tectonic features in the region include the Northern Galápagos Volcanic Province between the archipelago and the Galápagos Spreading Center 200 km to the north at the boundary of the Nazca Plate and the Cocos Plate. This spreading center truncates into the East Pacific Rise on the west and is bounded by the Cocos Ridge and Carnegie Ridge in the east. Furthermore, the Galápagos Hotspot is at the northern boundary of the Pacific Large Low Shear Velocity Province while the Easter Hotspot is on the southern boundary; the Galápagos Archipelago is characterized by numerous contemporaneous volcanoes, some with plume magma sources, others from the asthenosphere due to the young and thin oceanic crust. The GSC caused structural weaknesses in this thin lithosphere leading to eruptions forming the Galápagos Platform. Fernandina and Isabela in particular are aligned along these weaknesses. Lacking a well-defined rift zone, the islands have a high rate of inflation prior to eruption.
Sierra Negra on Isabela Island experienced a 240 cm uplift between 1992 and 1998, most recent eruption in 2005, while Fernandina on Fernandina Island indicated an uplift of 90 cm, most recent eruption in 2009. Alcedo on Isabela Island had an uplift of greater than 90 cm, most recent eruption in 1993. Additional characteristics of the Galápagos Archipelago are closer volcano spacing, smaller volcano sizes, larger calderas. For instance, Isabela Island includes 6 major volcanoes, Wolf, Alcedo, Sierra Negraa and Cerro Azul, with most recent eruptions ranging from 1813 to 2008; the neighboring islands of Santiago and Fernandina last erupted in 2009, respectively. Overall, the 9 active volcanoes in the archipelago have erupted 24 times between 1961 and 2011; the shape of these volcanoes is that of an "overturned soup bowl" as opposed to the "overturned saucer plate" of the Hawaiian Islands. The Galápagos's shape is due to the pattern of radial and circumferential fissure, radial on the flanks, but circumferential near the caldera summits.
It is the circumferential fissures. The volcanoes at the west end of the archipelago are in general, younger, have well developed calderas, are composed of tholeiitic basalt, while those on the east are shorter, lack calderas, have a more diverse composition; the ages of the islands, from west to east are 0.05 Ma for Fernandina, 0.65 Ma for Isabela, 1.10 Ma for Santiago, 1.7 Ma for Santa Cruz, 2.90 Ma for Santa Fe, 3.2 Ma for San Cristobal. The calderas on Sierra Negra and Alcedo have active fault systems; the Sierra Negra fault is associated with a sill 2 km below the caldera. The caldera on Fernandina experienced the largest basaltic volcano collapse in history, with the 1968 phreatomagmatic eruption. Fernandina has been the most active volcano since 1790, with recent eruptions in 1991, 1995, 2005, 2009, the entire surface has been covered in numerous flows since 4.3 Ka. The western volcanoes have numerous tuff cones; the islands are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 973 km off the west coast of South America.
The closest land mass is that of mainland Ecuador, the country to which they belong, 926 km to the east. The islands are found at the coordinates 1°40'N–1°36'S, 89°16'–92°01'W. Straddling the equator, islands in the chain are located in both the northern and southern hemispheres, with Volcán Wolf and Volcán Ecuador on Isla Isabela being directly on the equator. Española Island, the southernmost islet of the archipelago, Darwin Island, the northernmost
Galápagos sea lion
The Galápagos sea lion is a species of sea lion that breeds on the Galápagos Islands and – in smaller numbers – on Isla de la Plata. Being social, one of the most numerous species in the Galápagos archipelago, they are spotted sun-bathing on sandy shores or rock groups or gliding gracefully through the surf, their loud bark, playful nature, graceful agility in water make them the "welcoming party" of the islands. They are the smallest sea lions; this species was first described by E. Sivertsen in 1953; this species has been considered a subspecies of Zalophus californianus by many authors. But recent genetic data supports the Z. wollebaeki to be a separate species. The species belongs to the family genus Zalophus. Smaller than their Californian relatives, Galápagos sea lions range from 150 to 250 cm in length and weigh between 50 to 250 kg, with the males averaging larger than females. Adult males tend to have a thicker, more robust neck and shoulders in comparison to their slender abdomen. Females are somewhat opposite males, with thick torso.
Once sexually mature, a male’s sagittal crest enlarges, forming a small, characteristic bump-like projection on their forehead. Galápagos sea lions, compared to California sea lions, have a smaller sagittal crest and a shorter muzzle. Adult females and juveniles lack this physical characteristic altogether with a nearly flat head and little or no forehead. Both male and female sea lions have a pointy, somewhat long, narrow muzzle; the young pups are dog-like in profile. Another characteristic that defines the sea lion are their external ear-like pinnae flaps which distinguish them from their close relative with which they are confused, the seal; the foreflippers have a short fur extending from the wrist to the middle of the dorsal fin surface, but other than that, the flippers are covered in black, leathery skin. Curving posteriorly, the first digit of the flipper is the largest, giving it a swept-back look. At the end of each digit is a claw reduced to a vestigial nodule that emerges above the skin.
Although somewhat clumsy on land with their flippers, sea lions are amazingly agile in water. With their streamlined bodies and flipper-like feet, they propel themselves through crashing surf and dangerously sharp coastal rocks, they have the ability to control their flippers independently and thus change directions with ease, they have more control over their body on land. When wet, sea lions are a shade of dark brown; the females tend to be the pups a chestnut brown. Born with a longer, brownish-black lanugo, a pup's coat fades to brown within the first five months of life. At this time, they undergo their first molt; the age of maturity for Galápagos sea lions is estimated at about 4–5 years. The life span of Galapagos sea lions is estimated to be at 15–24 years. Galápagos sea lions can be found on each of the islands of the Galápagos archipelago, they have colonized just offshore the mainland Ecuador at Isla de la Plata, can be spotted from the Ecuadorian coast north to Isla Gorgona in Colombia.
Records have been made of sightings on Isla del Coco, about 500 km southwest of Costa Rica. The population on Isla del Coco is thought to be a vagrant population, while the population in the Galápagos archipelago is considered native. Less than a quarter of them reside on the most tourist drawn San Cristabol Island. Feeding on sardines, Galápagos sea lions sometimes travel 10 to 15 kilometers from the coast over the span of days to hunt for their prey; this is. Injuries and scars from attacks are visible. During El Niño, when fish populations either die or migrate, sea lions dive down deeper into the ocean to feed on lantern fish. During el Niño events, occurs when the water temperature changes and causes climate change in the Pacific, more green-eyes and myctophids are consumed due to a decrease in sardine population. El Nino caused many population decreases by changing the sea lion's availability for food, causing these Galapagos sea lions to be listed as endangered. Successful cooperative hunting of yellowfin tuna, in which the fish were herded into a rocky inlet, was recorded in the BBC series Blue Planet II.
Galápagos sea lions are vulnerable to human activity. Their inquisitive and social nature makes them more to approach areas inhabited by humans, thus come into contact with human waste, fishing nets, hooks, they occupy many different shoreline types, from steep, rocky cliff sides to low-lying sandy beaches. To avoid overheating during the day, sea lions will take refuge from the sun under vegetation and cliffs. Not only are sea lions social, they are quite vocal. Adult males bark in long and distinctive repeated sequences. Females and juveniles do not produce this repetitive bark, but both sexes of younger pups will growl. From birth, a mother sea lion recognizes her pup’s distinct bark and can pinpoint it from a crowd of 30 or more barking sea lions; the Galapagos sea lion male has territorial males and non-territorial males. There are clear cut differences in behavior from territorial males and non-territorial males, the first being the territorial males vocalized at higher rates than non-territorial males and the onset of vocalization tends to be higher.
Vocalization is important to territorial males because it plays a key role in sexual selection and helps ward off intruding non territ
Ecuador the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres west of the mainland; the capital city is Quito, the largest city. What is now Ecuador was home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century; the territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830. The legacy of both empires is reflected in Ecuador's ethnically diverse population, with most of its 16.4 million people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of European and African descendants. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Amerindian languages are recognized, including Quichua and Shuar; the sovereign state of Ecuador is a middle-income representative democratic republic with a developing economy, dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products.
It is governed as a democratic presidential republic. One of 18 megadiverse countries in the world, Ecuador hosts many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. In recognition of its unique ecological heritage, the new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights, it has the fifth lowest homicide rate in the Americas. Various peoples had settled in the area of the future Ecuador before the arrival of the Incas; the archeological evidence suggests that the Paleo-Indians' first dispersal into the Americas occurred near the end of the last glacial period, around 16,500–13,000 years ago. The first Indians who reached Ecuador may have journeyed by land from North and Central America or by boat down the Pacific Ocean coastline. Much migrations to Ecuador may have come via the Amazon tributaries, others descended from northern South America, others ascended from the southern part of South America through the Andes.
They developed different languages while emerging as unique ethnic groups. Though their languages were unrelated, these groups developed similar groups of cultures, each based in different environments; the people of the coast developed a fishing and gathering culture. Over time these groups began to interact and intermingle with each other so that groups of families in one area became one community or tribe, with a similar language and culture. Many civilizations arose in Ecuador, such as the Valdivia Culture and Machalilla Culture on the coast, the Quitus, the Cañari; each civilization developed its own distinctive architecture and religious interests. In the highland Andes mountains, where life was more sedentary, groups of tribes cooperated and formed villages. Through wars and marriage alliances of their leaders, a group of nations formed confederations. One region consolidated under a confederation called the Shyris, which exercised organized trading and bartering between the different regions.
Its political and military power came under the rule of the Duchicela blood-line. When the Incas arrived, they found that these confederations were so developed that it took the Incas two generations of rulers—Topa Inca Yupanqui and Huayna Capac—to absorb them into the Inca Empire; the native confederations that gave them the most problems were deported to distant areas of Peru and north Argentina. A number of loyal Inca subjects from Peru and Bolivia were brought to Ecuador to prevent rebellion. Thus, the region of highland Ecuador became part of the Inca Empire in 1463 sharing the same language. In contrast, when the Incas made incursions into coastal Ecuador and the eastern Amazon jungles of Ecuador, they found both the environment and indigenous people more hostile. Moreover, when the Incas tried to subdue them, these indigenous people withdrew to the interior and resorted to guerrilla tactics; as a result, Inca expansion into the Amazon Basin and the Pacific coast of Ecuador was hampered.
The indigenous people of the Amazon jungle and coastal Ecuador remained autonomous until the Spanish soldiers and missionaries arrived in force. The Amazonian people and the Cayapas of Coastal Ecuador were the only groups to resist Inca and Spanish domination, maintaining their language and culture well into the 21st century. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Inca Empire was involved in a civil war; the untimely death of both the heir Ninan Cuchi and the Emperor Huayna Capac, from a European disease that spread into Ecuador, created a power vacuum between two factions. The northern faction headed by Atahualpa claims that Huayna Capac gave a verbal decree before his death about how the empire should be divided, he gave the territories pertaining to present-day Ecuador and northern Peru to his favorite son Atahualpa, to rule from Quito. He willed that his heart be buried in Quito, his favorite city, the rest of his body be buried with his ancestors in Cuzco. Huáscar did not recognize his fa