Galapagos Islands Marine Life

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by SissonW
Last updated 4 years ago

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Science
Subject:
Ecosystems

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Galapagos Islands Marine Life

Galapagos Islands Marine Life

Galapagos Islands Marine Life

The Galapagos Islands are a chain of 13 islands about 1,000 miles off the coast of Ecuador.Burrito grunt fish, whale sharks and pacific green sea turtles are prime examples of Marine Life around the Galapagos Islands.

These three unique animals, despite their extremely different sizes, in fact all prey on the same organisms. They all consume oceanic plants and sometimes, small crustaceans. Since they all eat the same thing, they are constantly competing with one another for food. Because whale sharks can filter feed through their gaping mouths, they obviously have the advantage. However, this does not present much of an issue for sea turtles or grunt fish because there is an endless supply of sea plants.

Whale sharks are the largest fish known to man. They have hundreds of rows of small teeth and their mouth alone canmeasure up to five feet long. Whale sharks are all dark greywith white underbellies and a white checkerboard pattern ofspots all over their bodies. These sharks can reach the greatlength of over 40 feet, weighing in at about 20 tons. Though these huge animals may seem intimidating, they only swimat speeds of about 3 miles per hour and are harmless to humans! They give birth to live young that are about twofeet in length and take up to 30 years to reach full size. Mostwhale sharks live to be anywhere from 70-180 years old.

Burrito Grunt Fish

Pacific Green Sea Turtle

Whale Shark

Burrito Grrunt Fish-18 inches long-Compressed bodies-Lips that get bigger asthey age-Commercially fished-School above rocky shores, caves and reefs

Conservation Status: Vulnerable Species

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Conservation Status: Not Threatened or Endangered

All three of these organisms live around the Galapagos Islands for the same reason...the warm and tropical waters year-round.

These 5 foot long, 700 pound reptiles have four propeller like fins that propel them through the ocean waters. They are currently labeled as critically endagered due to poaching. boating accidents, fishnet drowing and the human intrusion onto their nesting grounds. These turtles, like most others, go onto sandy beaches to lay their some 100 to 200 eggs. However, they also go onto the beachesjust to bask in the sun and are one of the only of their species to do this.

As shown, the tropical waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands never reach temperatures below 70 degrees Farenheit, even during the dry, and usually colder, season. The warm waters are the main reason why these three specific species thrive in this marine habitat.


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