Monday, April 14, 2014

Galapagos at the Crossroads...

While Carol Ann Bassett focuses on the current challenges facing the Galapagos Islands and their fragile ecosystem--challenges like overfishing, invasive species, colonists, pollution, and tourism--she also touches on their history and the amazing biodiversity of life found here. It's a well-written and eye-opening book.

Here are some of my favorite Galapagos facts:

  • The islands are home to 58 species of birds from flamingoes to penguins, and 27 different kinds of reptiles, including giant tortoises and a cliff-diving marine iguana.
  • The islands are moving east towards South America at a rate of 3 inches a year.
  • Literary pirate William Dampier visited the islands in 1679 and 1684 and later wrote three best-selling travel books about his travels there.
  • Charles Darwin, who visited the islands in 1835, was born on the same day as Abraham Lincoln: February 12, 1809.
  • It's the temperature of the nest that determines the sex of turtle hatchlings--if the nest is too hot, it'll be all females; too cool, all males.
  • Land tortoises can survive more than a year without drinking.
  • Flightless cormorants live here, the only cormorant species in the world that has lost the ability to fly.
  • The Galapagos are oceanic islands that straddle the Equator; they are the only oceanic archipelago in the world that still retains 95 percent of its original biodiversity. As Charles Darwin once wrote, the Galapagos "is a little world within itself."

Happy Traveling!


  1. Sounds like an interesting read. Did it go pretty quickly?

    1. It actually did read fairly fast. Bassett put in a lot of interesting details and facts without ever getting bogged down in boring.

  2. I will have to turn Kristine onto this. She wants to go there. Sigh......

  3. Thanks for your kind comments on my book, Galapagos at the Crossroads. The research, field immersion and writing were truly a labor of love on every level. May your journey to "the Enchanted Islands" be peaceful and transformative. No doubt your visit will be eye-opening. -- Carol Ann Bassett, Author

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by; reading your book made my trip to the Galapagos that much better!