A surprisingly creepy and dangerous place

When we stepped onto the sand beach, the warm summer sun and turquoise water gave us the feeling of a tropical paradise in the Galapagos Islands. Things are not always as they seem on the island of Fernandina.   As we walked further across the lava rocks, we saw images reminiscent of a horror film crossed with a “Mad Max” movie.

DSC06471

Marine iguana heads turned to face the sun

A portrait of two marine iguanas

A portrait of two marine iguanas

Fernandina Island, the youngest island of the Galapagos, is about 700,000 years old and is still short on vegetation. It was extraordinarily beautiful.

Fernandina Island, the youngest island of the Galapagos, is about 700,000 years old and is still short on vegetation. It was extraordinarily beautiful.

But something was happening here. An alarming number of dead marine iguana bodies littered the lava rock.

But something was happening here. An alarming number of dead marine iguana bodies littered the lava rock.

The important thing to know if you’re a creature on Fernandina Island is that while you are on the lookout for something to eat, something is waiting to eat you.

Galapagos hawks sat on low trees keeping a watchful eye for prey. One of their favorite foods is the marine iguana. With their sharp talons, they strangle their prey and eat the highest protein parts of the lizard – the tongue and eyes. The rest is left for other scavengers.

One of those scavengers is the Sally Lightfoot crab.

One of those scavengers is the Sally Lightfoot crab.

We watched the marine iguanas scurry down the sand to the water’s edge. It took just a second before they were moving quickly through the water, propelled forward by shimmying their body and tail.

We watched the marine iguanas scurry down the sand to the water’s edge. It took just a second before they were moving quickly through the water, propelled forward by shimmying their body and tail.

At least in the water they would be safe from the Galapagos hawks.

 

 

April 2016

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in cruise, Ecuador, South America - 2016 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A surprisingly creepy and dangerous place

  1. Pingback: Our Best of the Best: wildlife, beaches, snorkeling | simpletravelourway

  2. lfish64 says:

    The iguanas look like they come from a different world.

  3. We spent an amazing week in the Galapagos Islands in 2014 and loved watching the marine iguanas swim and the contrast of the vivid red crabs against the black lava rock. Your pictures are great and have brought back some wonderful memories! Anita

  4. Annette says:

    What a great read. Creepy is not the word… have a wonderful time.

  5. Those iguanas are positively prehistoric.

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