Galápagos Highlands

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4-May-03

1100 - 1600

Santa Cruz highlands (El chato), Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

 

Lush & tropical volcanic island

    Down around the ocean, the islands tend to be dry and deserty, but up higher, around the extinct volcanic vents, the environment becomes lush and green. There are still several acacia plants around, but they just add a bit of texture. Birds, loving the moist air and green plants, flit cheerfully in the sky.

    In the Galápagos, the higher elevations are the wet environments, because they catch the mist. Therefore, mosses and green plants can grow abundantly because of all the moisture in the air. On Santa Cruz, there are seven vegetation zones, and the top four are extremely moist.

Adaptations - 

 - The plants in the Galapagos all come from South- and Central America, and they're all pretty much adapted to equatorial heat., But the Galapagos are unique by the fact that the Humboldt Current meets the warm equatorial sun, creating an inversion. This means that, unlike other mountains, the Galapagos are cool at the ocean and warmer at higher elevation, around the hills. So all the plants in the highlands must be adapted to being cool on the hot equator.

 

Dominant species -

 - Galapagos [giant tortoise]

 - Acacias

 - Mosses

 

Other species -

 - Vermilion flycatcher

 - Large tree finch

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