What is special about the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are a group of 19 islands located in the Pacific Ocean more than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) off the coast of South America. Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, they are home to thousands of marine species. Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. These processes, along with the islands’ extreme isolation, led to the development of unique animal life, such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise, and the many types of finch. The British naturalist Charles Darwin was one of the first geologists to visit the islands in 1835. His research led to his theory of evolution by natural selection.


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