The Galapagos Islands have a unique and varied collection of animals. They are truly oceanic islands having never been connected to any land mass, they are further isolated because currents and winds make it unlikely that flora or fauna will be carried from any other land mass, arrivals have been rare.

This isolation has led to several groups undergoing adaptive radiation from small and very occasional  founder populations. The result is an unusual collection of animals, that often occupy niches that are more commonly occupied by very different animals elsewhere in the world.

Galapagos Animals - 1 page 2
Some of the Animals Found in the Galapagos Islands

There are many species found in the Galapagos, some of them are endemic to the islands, others are found elsewhere as well. Here are some of the  iconic or unusual inhabitants of that you might expect to be able to see if you pay a visit.

Galapagos tortoise
Giant Tortoises

Geochelone nigra

One of the most iconic members of the Galapagos fauna, different islands have their own forms.

Darwin's Finches
Darwin's Finches

subfamily Geospizinae / Geospizini

A group of 15 species that evolved by adaptive radiation from a single founder species.

Marine Iguanas - Amblyrhynchus 
Marine Iguanas

Amblyrhynchus cristatus

The world's only sea-going lizard, they dive to feed on algae.

Galapagos Penguin - Sphensicus 
Galapagos Penguin

Sphensicus mendiculus

The most northerly penguin species and the only one in the northern hemisphere.

Great Frigatebird
Great Frigatebird - Magnificent Frigatebird

Fregata minor ridgwayi - Fregrata magnificens

Two species of immodestly named oceanic birds that can stay aloft for weeks on end.

Blue Footed Booby - Sula nebouxii
Blue Footed Booby

Sula nebouxii

Charismatic megafauna at its finest, striking appearance and bizarre behaviour.

Galapagos Sea Lion
Galapagos Sea Lion

Zalophus wollebaeki

A unique Galapagos species of an animal type found elsewhere.

Nazca Booby - Sula granti
Nazca Booby

Sula granti

The largest of the Galapagos booby species, unique to the islands.

Flightless Cormorant
Flightless Cormorant

Phalacrocorax harrisi

The largest cormorant species and the only one that can't fly, only found on the Galapagos.

Red Footed Booby
Red Footed Booby

Sula sula

The smallest booby on the islands and the most varied.

Waved Albatross
Waved Albatross

Phoebastria irrorata

The only tropical albatross, breeds only here but flies 2,000 km to feed.

Sally Lightfoot Crab
Other Galapagos animals

Such as this Sally Lightfoot crab. As well as a collection of unique endemic animals, there are many other wildlife species that call the Galapagos home for all or part of the year and that are found elsewhere too.

Top banner credit - Ndecam from London UK, used under CC2 Attribution Generic license.