Flamingos or flamingoes are a type of wading bird in the family Phoenicopteridae, the only bird family in the order Phoenicopteriformes. Four flamingo species are distributed throughout the Americas, including the Caribbean, two species are native to Africa and Europe; the name "flamingo" comes from Portuguese or Spanish flamengo, "flame-colored", in turn coming from Provençal flamenc from flama "flame" and Germanic-like suffix -ing, with a possible influence of words like "Fleming". A similar etymology has the Latinate Greek term phoenicopterus "blood red-feathered". Traditionally, the long-legged Ciconiiformes a paraphyletic assemblage, have been considered the flamingos' closest relatives and the family was included in the order; the ibises and spoonbills of the Threskiornithidae were considered their closest relatives within this order. Earlier genetic studies, such as those of Charles Sibley and colleagues supported this relationship. Relationships to the waterfowl were considered as well as flamingos are parasitized by feather lice of the genus Anaticola, which are otherwise found on ducks and geese.
The peculiar presbyornithids were used to argue for a close relationship between flamingos and waders. A 2002 paper concluded they are waterfowl, but a 2014 comprehensive study of bird orders found that flamingos and grebes are not waterfowl, but rather are part of Columbea along with doves and mesites. Living flamingoes. Six extant flamingo species are recognized by most sources, were placed in one genus – Phoenicopterus; as a result of a 2014 publication, the family was reclassified into three genera. Prehistoric species of flamingo: Phoenicopterus floridanus Brodkorb 1953 Phoenicopterus stocki Phoenicopterus siamensis Cheneval et al. 1991 Phoenicopterus gracilis Miller 1963 Phoenicopterus copei Phoenicopterus minutus Phoenicopterus croizeti Phoenicopterus aethiopicus Phoenicopterus eyrensis Phoenicopterus novaehollandiae Recent molecular studies have suggested a relation with grebes, while morphological evidence strongly supports a relationship between flamingos and grebes. They hold at least 11 morphological traits in common.
Many of these characteristics have been identified on flamingos, but not on grebes. The fossil palaelodids can be considered evolutionarily, ecologically, intermediate between flamingos and grebes. For the grebe-flamingo clade, the taxon Mirandornithes has been proposed. Alternatively, they could be placed with Phoenocopteriformes taking priority. Flamingos stand on one leg while the other is tucked beneath their bodies; the reason for this behaviour is not understood. One theory is that standing on one leg allows the birds to conserve more body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water. However, the behaviour takes place in warm water and is observed in birds that do not stand in water. An alternative theory is that standing on one leg reduces the energy expenditure for producing muscular effort to stand and balance on one leg. A study on cadavers showed that the one-legged pose could be held without any muscle activity, while living flamingos demonstrate less body sway in a one-legged posture.
As well as standing in the water, flamingos may stamp their webbed feet in the mud to stir up food from the bottom. Flamingos are capable flyers, flamingos in captivity require wing clipping to prevent escape. Young flamingos hatch with greyish-red plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is thus a more desirable mate. Captive flamingos are a notable exception; the greater flamingo is the tallest of the 6 different species of flamingos, standing at 3.9 to 4.7 feet with a weight up to 7.7 pounds, the shortest flamingo species has a height of 2.6 feet and weighs 5.5 pounds. Flamingos can have a wingspan as small as 37 inches to as big as 59 inches. Flamingos filter-feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae as well as larva, small insects and crustaceans making them omnivores, their bills are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, are uniquely used upside-down.
The filtering of food items is assisted by hairy structures called lamellae, which line the mandibles, the large, rough-surfaced tongue. The pink or reddish color of flamingos comes from carotenoids in their diet of animal and plant plankton. American flamingos are a brighter red color because of the beta carotene availability in their food while the lesser flamingos are a paler pink due to ingesting a smaller amount of this pigment; these carotenoids are broken down into pigments by liver enzymes. The source of this varies by species, affects the color saturation. Flamingos whose sole diet is blue-green algae are darker than those that get it second-hand by eating animals that have digested blue-green algae). Flamingos are social birds.
Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now accepted, considered a foundational concept in science. In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s, the scientific community and a majority of the educated public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations, it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution.
Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life. Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh. Studies at the University of Cambridge encouraged his passion for natural science, his five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author. Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin began detailed investigations, in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority, he was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay that described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories.
Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871 he examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, his research on plants was published in a series of books, in his final book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Actions of Worms, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey. Since 2008, a statue of Charles Darwin occupies the place of honour at London's Natural History Museum. Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 12 February 1809, at his family's home, The Mount, he was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin. His grandfathers Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood were both prominent abolitionists.
Both families were Unitarian, though the Wedgwoods were adopting Anglicanism. Robert Darwin, himself a freethinker, had baby Charles baptised in November 1809 in the Anglican St Chad's Church, but Charles and his siblings attended the Unitarian chapel with their mother; the eight-year-old Charles had a taste for natural history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. That July, his mother died. From September 1818, he joined his older brother Erasmus attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School as a boarder. Darwin spent the summer of 1825 as an apprentice doctor, helping his father treat the poor of Shropshire, before going to the University of Edinburgh Medical School with his brother Erasmus in October 1825. Darwin found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so he neglected his studies, he learned taxidermy in around 40 daily hour-long sessions from John Edmonstone, a freed black slave who had accompanied Charles Waterton in the South American rainforest.
In Darwin's second year at the university he joined the Plinian Society, a student natural-history group featuring lively debates in which radical democratic students with materialistic views challenged orthodox religious concepts of science. He assisted Robert Edmond Grant's investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of marine invertebrates in the Firth of Forth, on 27 March 1827 presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in oyster shells were the eggs of a skate leech. One day, Grant praised Lamarck's evolutionary ideas. Darwin was astonished by Grant's audacity, but had read similar ideas in his grandfather Erasmus' journals. Darwin was rather bored by Robert Jameson's natural-history course, which covered geology—including the debate between Neptunism and Plutonism, he learned the classification of plants, assisted with work on the collections of the University Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe at the time. Darwin's neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican country parson.
As Darwin was unqualified for the Tripos, he joined the ordinary degree course in January 1828. He preferred shooting to studying, his cousin William Darwin Fox introduced him to the popular craze for beetle collecting.
Floreana Island is an island of the Galápagos Islands. It was named after Juan José Flores, the first president of Ecuador, during whose administration the government of Ecuador took possession of the archipelago, it was called Charles Island, Santa Maria after one of the caravels of Columbus. The island has an area of 173 square kilometres, it was formed by volcanic eruption. The island's highest point is Cerro Pajas at 640 metres, the highest point of the volcano like most of the smaller islands of Galápagos. Since the 19th century, whalers kept a wooden barrel at Post Office Bay, so that mail could be picked up and delivered to their destination by ships on their way home to Europe and the United States. Cards and letters are still placed in the barrel without any postage. Visitors sift through the cards in order to deliver them by hand. Due to its flat surface, supply of fresh water as well as plants and animals, Floreana was a favorite stop for whalers and other visitors to the Galápagos; when still known as Charles Island in 1820, the island was set alight as a prank by helmsman Thomas Chappel from the Nantucket whaling ship the Essex.
Being the height of the dry season, the fire soon burned out of control. The next day saw the island still burning as the ship sailed for the offshore grounds and after a full day of sailing the fire was still visible on the horizon. Many years Thomas Nickerson, a cabin boy on the Essex, returned to Charles Island and found a black wasteland: "neither trees, nor grass have since appeared." It is believed the fire contributed to the extinction of some species on the island. In September 1835 the second voyage of HMS Beagle brought Charles Darwin to Charles Island; the ship's crew was greeted by Nicholas Lawson, acting for the Governor of Galápagos, at the prison colony Darwin was told that tortoises differed in the shape of the shells from island to island, but this was not obvious on the islands he visited and he did not bother collecting their shells. He industriously collected all the animals, plants and reptiles, speculated about finding "from future comparison to what district or'centre of creation' the organized beings of this archipelago must be attached."On 8 April 1888 USS Albatross, a Navy-manned research vessel assigned to the United States Fish Commission, visited Floreana Island during a 2 week survey of the islands.
In 1929, Friedrich Ritter and Dore Strauch arrived in Guayaquil from Berlin to settle on Floreana, sent letters back that were reported in the press, encouraging others to follow. In 1932 Heinz and Margret Wittmer arrived with their son Harry, shortly afterwards their son Rolf was born there, the first citizen of the island known to have been born in the Galápagos. In 1932, the self-described "Baroness" von Wagner Bosquet arrived with companions, but a series of strange disappearances and deaths and the departure of Strauch left the Wittmers as the sole remaining inhabitants of the group who had settled there, they set up a hotel, still managed by their descendants, Mrs. Wittmer wrote an account of her experiences in her book Floreana: A Woman's Pilgrimage to the Galápagos. A documentary film recounting these events, The Galapagos Affair, was released in 2013; the demands of these visitors, early settlers, introduced species devastated much of the local wildlife with the endemic Floreana tortoise being declared extinct and the endemic Floreana mockingbird becoming extirpated on the island.
When Charles Darwin visited the island in 1835, he found no sign of its native tortoise and assumed that whalers and human settlers had wiped them out. Since about 1850, no tortoises have been found on the island, the International Union for Conservation of Nature classified the Floreana tortoise as extinct. However, it may be that there are pure Floreana tortoises living on other islands in the archipelago. Isla Floreana is a shield volcano, it is the southernmost island in the Galapagos Archipelago, a 3,400 m submarine escarpment 10 km south of the island forms the southern boundary of the Galapagos Platform. There are over 6 tuff cones offshore. Composed of tephra, these cones are the origin of the A'a lava flows; the oldest flows are on the northern end of the island. Cerro Pajas is the origin of the largest lava flow. A favorite dive and snorkeling site, “Devil's Crown”, located off the northeast point of the island, is an underwater volcanic cone, offering the opportunity to snorkel with schools of fish, sea turtles and sea lions, which are abundant amongst the many coral formations found here.
At Punta Cormorant, there is a green olivine beach to see sea lions and a short walk past a lagoon to see flamingos, sea turtles, Grapsus grapsus crabs. Pink flamingos and green sea turtles nest from December to May on this island; the "joint footed" petrel is found here, a nocturnal sea bird which spends most of its life away from land. Post Office Bay provides visitors the opportunity to send post cards home without a stamp via the over 200-year-old post barrel and other travelers. A miniature football field, complete with goals, at the end of Post Office Bay, is used by tour boat crews and their tourists. Strauch, Dora. Satan Came to Eden. Harper & brothers. OCLC 3803834. Tr
Tortoises are reptile species of the family Testudinidae of the order Testudines. They are distinguished from other turtles by being land-dwelling, while many other turtle species are at least aquatic. However, like other turtles, tortoises have a shell to protect from other threats; the shell in tortoises is hard, like other members of the suborder Cryptodira, they retract their necks and heads directly backwards into the shell to protect them. Tortoises are unique among vertebrates in that the pectoral and pelvic girdles are inside the ribcage rather than outside. Tortoises can vary in dimension from a few centimeters to two meters, they are diurnal animals with tendencies to be crepuscular depending on the ambient temperatures. They are reclusive animals. Tortoises are the longest living land animal in the world, although the longest living species of tortoise is a matter of debate. Galápagos tortoises are noted to live over 150 years, but an Aldabra giant tortoise named Adwaita may have been the longest living at an estimated 255 years.
In general, most tortoise species can live 80–150 years. Differences exist in usage of the common terms turtle and terrapin, depending on the variety of English being used; these terms do not reflect precise biological or taxonomic distinctions. The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists uses "turtle" to describe all species of the order Testudines, regardless of whether they are land-dwelling or sea-dwelling, uses "tortoise" as a more specific term for slow-moving terrestrial species. General American usage agrees. In America, for example, the members of the genus Terrapene dwell on land, yet are referred to as box turtles rather than tortoises. British usage, by contrast, tends not to use "turtle" as a generic term for all members of the order, applies the term "tortoises" broadly to all land-dwelling members of the order Testudines, regardless of whether they are members of the family Testudinidae. In Britain, terrapin is used to refer to a larger group of semiaquatic turtles than the restricted meaning in America.
Australian usage is different from both British usage. Land tortoises are not native to Australia, yet traditionally freshwater turtles have been called "tortoises" in Australia; some Australian experts disapprove of this usage—believing that the term tortoises is "better confined to purely terrestrial animals with different habits and needs, none of which are found in this country"—and promote the use of the term "freshwater turtle" to describe Australia's aquatic members of the order Testudines because it avoids misleading use of the word "tortoise" and is a useful distinction from marine turtles. Most species of tortoises lay small clutch sizes exceeding 20 eggs, many species have clutch sizes of only 1–2 eggs. Incubation is characteristically long in most species, the average incubation period are between 100 and 160 days. Egg-laying occurs at night, after which the mother tortoise covers her clutch with sand and organic material; the eggs are left unattended, depending on the species, take from 60 to 120 days to incubate.
The size of the egg depends on the size of the mother and can be estimated by examining the width of the cloacal opening between the carapace and plastron. The plastron of a female tortoise has a noticeable V-shaped notch below the tail which facilitates passing the eggs. Upon completion of the incubation period, a formed hatchling uses an egg tooth to break out of its shell, it begins a life of survival on its own. They are hatched with an embryonic egg sac which serves as a source of nutrition for the first three to seven days until they have the strength and mobility to find food. Juvenile tortoises require a different balance of nutrients than adults, so may eat foods which a more mature tortoise would not. For example, the young of a herbivorous species will consume worms or insect larvae for additional protein; the number of concentric rings on the carapace, much like the cross-section of a tree, can sometimes give a clue to how old the animal is, since the growth depends on the accessibility of food and water, a tortoise that has access to plenty of forage with no seasonal variation will have no noticeable rings.
Moreover, some tortoises grow more than one ring per season, in some others, due to wear, some rings are no longer visible. Tortoises have one of the longest lifespans of any animal, some individuals are known to have lived longer than 150 years; because of this, they symbolize longevity in some cultures, such as China. The oldest tortoise recorded, one of the oldest individual animals recorded, was Tu'i Malila, presented to the Tongan royal family by the British explorer Captain Cook shortly after its birth in 1777. Tu'i Malila remained in the care of the Tongan royal family until its death by natural causes on May 19, 1965, at the age of 188; the record for the longest-lived vertebrate is exceeded only by one other, a koi named Hanako whose death on July 17, 1977, ended a 226-year lifespan. The Alipore Zoo in India was the home to Adwaita, which zoo officials claimed was the oldest living animal until
Bartolomé Island is a volcanic islet in the Galápagos Islands group. It is a volcanic islet just off the east coast of Santiago Island, it is one of the "younger" islands in the Galápagos archipelago. This island, Sulivan Bay on Santiago island, are named after naturalist and lifelong friend of Charles Darwin, Sir Bartholomew James Sulivan, a lieutenant aboard HMS Beagle. With a total land area of just 1.2 square kilometres, this island offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the archipelago. The island consists of an extinct volcano and a variety of red, orange and glistening black volcanic formations. Bartolomé has a volcanic cone, easy to climb and provides great views of the other islands. Bartolomé is famous for its Pinnacle Rock, the distinctive characteristic of this island, the most representative landmark of the Galápagos, it has two visitor sites. At the first one, one may snorkel around Pinnacle Rock. Snorkelers are in the water with the penguins, marine turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, other tropical fish.
The bay is an excellent place to go swimming. The twin bays are separated by a narrow isthmus. Galápagos penguins are seen, a small cave behind Pinnacle Rock houses a breeding colony. Seasonally, Bartolomé is the mating and nesting site for the green turtles. With herons, they make use of the gentler beaches; the Galápagos lava cacti colonize the new lava fields. Galapagosonline.com Bartolome information
Española Island is part of the Galápagos Islands. The English named it Hood Island after Viscount Samuel Hood, it is located in the extreme southeast of the archipelago and is considered, along with Santa Fe, one of the oldest, at four million years. A popular tourist stop, Isla Española is the most southerly island in the Galápagos Archipelago; the climate is dry, like most of the Archipelago. But due to the flatness of the island, it is the driest of these islands, with only a few inches of rain per year, it is about a 10- to 12-hour trip by boat from Isla Santa Cruz. Tourists come to see the waved albatrosses and the mating dances of blue-footed boobies on Española Island. While Española Island is one of the oldest of the Galápagos Islands, this island is dying becoming a rocky, barren land with little or no vegetation, but this does give large bays, with sand and soft shingle which attracts a healthy number of Galápagos sea lions Two spots are popular with visitors: Bahía Gardner, which has a lovely beach.
This island has its own species of animals, such as the Española mockingbird, which has a longer and more curved beak than the one on the central islands. Here there are swallow-tailed gulls and other tropical birds. American author Herman Melville mentions the island in his novella The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles; the novel La iguana by Spanish writer Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa takes place in the island. The novel was cinematized as Iguana by American film director Monte Hellman. Espanola travel guide from Wikivoyage Espanola Island Espanola wildlife and visitor sites Galapagosonline.com* Fauna at Gardner Bay Rory Carroll, "Galápagos giant tortoise saved from extinction by breeding programme: Reintroduction of species that Charles Darwin saw raises conservation hopes for other wildlife", The Observer