Definitions for galapagos islands
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Galapagos Islands, Galapagos(noun)
a group of islands in the Pacific off South America; owned by Ecuador; known for unusual animal life
The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, 926 km west of continental Ecuador, of which they are a part. The Galápagos Islands and its surrounding waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a biological marine reserve. The principal language on the islands is Spanish. The islands have a population of slightly over 25,000. The islands are famed for their vast number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle. His observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. The Galapagos Islands were discovered by chance on 10 March 1535, when the Dominican friar Fray Tomas de Berlanga, Bishop of Panama, went to Peru in pursuance of an order of the Spanish monarch, Charles V, to arbitrate in a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and his subordinates after the conquest of the Inca empire . Because of a calm and strong currents, the ship of the Bishop was dragged to the Galapagos. In chronicling his adventure, directed from Portoviejo Emperor Charles V on the discovery of the Galapagos Islands, Berlanga described the bleak desert conditions in the islands and the giant tortoises that inhabited them. He also described the marine iguanas, sea lions and many types of birds, emphasizing the unusual mildness of animals and expressed in the following words: Traxo the ship very good time breezes seven days, that the pilot haziase near the ground and calm diones six days the currents were so large, we engolfaron so that Wednesday March 10, we saw an island and because the ship had no more water for two days, agreed to take the boat and going ashore for water and grass for the horses. E hatched ... but found no sea lions, turtles and tortoises and so great a man wearing one above, and many who are like serpents higuanas. The first navigation chart of the islands was made by the buccaneer Ambrose Cowley in 1684. He named the individual islands after some of his fellow pirates or after the British noblemen who helped the privateer's cause. More recently, the Ecuadorian government gave most of the islands Spanish names. While the Spanish names are official, many users continue to use the older English names, principally because those were the names used when Charles Darwin visited.
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