Giant Tortoise and
the Magnificent Frigatebird
Islands of Santa Cruz and North Seymour
The giant tortoise remains a symbol of the Galapagos
Islands, also providing their name in Spanish.  We saw
the giant tortoise on the inhabited Island of Santa Cruz.
The giant tortoise is truly huge, and its lifespan is estimated at
150 years.  Not surprisingly, the giant tortoise's movements are
extremely slow.  It did not mind posing with me.
On Santa Cruz Island, the giant tortoise ends up living wild
on pasturelands it shares with cattle.  The Darin Center on
this island is dedicated to the study and preservation of the
giant tortoise, which has many subspecies that evolved on
different islands in the Galapagos.
This giant tortoise is approaching a fence intended to keep
the cattle enclosed.  Hopefully the tortoise managed to
creep under the fence.  If you want to see the giant tortoise
move, watch my video, "Gringo in the Galapagos".  
Our last stop was on North Seymour Island to see
the Magnificent Frigatebird (that's its real name).
Early explorers may have been impressed by the
male's courtship display, in which he inflates loose
skin to create the bright red balloon above.
This is extremely attractive to a
female frigatebird, who can't resist
pecking at it.  I have the video proof.  
With a high speed internet connection, watch the Intrepid
Berkeley Explorer's free Ecuador video by clicking on:
Gringo in the Galapagos