Galapagos wildlife

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Galapagos Islands dolphins and whales


Galapagos dolphins

Dolphins: There are two species of dolphins that live around the islands. These are the bottle-nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the common (white-bellied) dolphin [Delphinus delphis).

The bottle-nosed dolphin is the one most likely to be seen swimming in front of boats, riding the bow. wave.

By day or by night, from two to a dozen or more of these graceful creatures may come to the bow and spend as much as half an hour "piloting" the boat. This is especially spectacular on dark nights when the bioluminescence outlines their bodies and makes them glow as they race through the water. As they swim close to the boat you may hear their high-pitched squeaking.

The common dolphin is less likely to come to your ship, but, when seen, it is often in schools of over one hundred individuals. It is smaller and has more white on its underpants than the bottle-nosed dolphin.

Whales: The cetaceans are divided into two major groups according to whether they have baleen or teeth. The baleen whales comprise most of the larger whales including the blue, findback, sei, humpback, Bryde's, and minke whales, which are seen in Galapagos waters.

These waters are all plankton feeders, sieving out shrimps, sardines and other small marine creatures from the water using their baleen plates.

These plates are large, heavily fringed, triangular pieces of "whalebone" through which water is pushed and in which plankton creatures are caught. This feeding methods is somewhat similar to that of the flamingo. Though very large, most whales are difficult to identify at sea without experience and a comprehensive handbook. The world's largest animal, the blue whale, is occasionally reported from Galapagos waters.

Galapagos Islands wildlife, birds
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