The giants are coming - run to the Zoo!
As part of our Darwin 200 celebrations, ZSL London Zoo has opened its latest exhibit, 'Giants of the Galapagos'. Meet Dirk, Dolly and Dolores, our magnificent new tortoises.
Want to know more about this incredible species and the islands they come from? Then look no further.
Giants of the Galapagos
- The Galapagos Islands are a group of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean, west of Ecuador.
- They are a UNESCO World Heritage site and are home to some of the world’s most stunning wildlife.
- The Galapagos are a fragile environment, where many species have come under threat from hunting and more recently from tourism, disease and the introduction of invasive species.
- Charles Darwin studied the Galapagos during the voyage of the Beagle. His observations and collections later helped him come up with his famous theory of evolution by natural selection.
- Darwin commented on the different shell patterns of the tortoises on different islands. He tried riding one, and even ate tortoise meat!
- Some of the tortoises had shells that were shaped like saddles. The Spanish sailors saw this and named the islands ‘Galapagos’ which means ‘saddles’ in Spanish.