Elroy Christenson



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Galapagos, Ecuador

Galapagos tortoises

"Giant tortoises of Sant Cruz Island, Galapagos, Equador"
©2015 photo Elroy Christenson

The islands of the Galapagos Islands are unique not only for the iquanas but also for the varieties of other wild life. These tortoises were long used as a food source by whalers and other mariners.  Several species were wiped out. These tortoises graze broadly through the wet and green areas of Santa Cruz Island.  During the dry season they hide in sheltered areas under the brush and forests.  Sometimes only a few can be found on the Tortoise Ranch which is a primary tourist location.  We found nearly a hundred here which seemed to gather for breeding. The eggs are collected for hatching away from predators and released after a few years for further distribution on other islands.

Galapagos Tortoise w/ long neck
"Long necked tortoise of the Darwin Center"
©2015 photo Elroy Christenson

This particular tortoise is a long time resident in the Darwin Center on Santa Cruz Island. He has a particularly long neck because it is one of the tortoises that uses the neck to reach the fruit higher up on the cactii. He has produced numerous off-spring to help repopulate other islands.

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updated by Elroy Christenson 11/02/15