animals

meet the animals of the galapagos

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Who loves wildlife-spotting while travelling?

We DO! So you can imagine what an incredible time we had when we were in the Galapagos.

We cannot believe that it has been 4 years since we visited there. We so fondly remember our time exploring three of the islands!

Without further a do… introducing the different wildlife we were able to meet.

Sea Lion

Sealion

Friendly, curious and relaxed, you can spot these gorgeous fellows everywhere. They really know how to sunbathe. We were lucky to see so many pups. We loved how uninhibited and playful they were.

Marine Iguana

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These guys are very unique and probably the ones we found most fascinating to learn about. They are typical reptiles, basking in the early morning sun. Then later in the day, they will dive for seaweed growing on the sea floor. They are the only true marine lizards and live only in the Galapagos. They are everywhere, so if you go, watch out where you put your foot, as they camouflage with the volcanic rock sometimes.

How many can you see in this picture?

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Land Iguana

Land Iguana

Lava Lizard

Lava Lizard

Different types of Giant Tortoises

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There once were 14 recognisable species of giant tortoises on the Galapagos Islands.  Over the years, they have been killed for many things by humans, including for food. The species count is officially down to 10 because when we were there, there were still 11.

With Lonesome George (pictured below) being the last of his kind, we felt very humbled to have met him before he passed away the year after we met him. It was estimated that he was over a hundred years old.

LonesomeGeorge

Trivia: As a tortoise gets older, the lines on his shell become fewer. Works opposite to a tree trunk. 

Now to the folks found predominantly in the water….

Green Sea Turtle 

Sea Turtle

Not easy to see it in the photo, but it’s coming up for air.

White-tipped Shark

Sharks

Octopus

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We had to crop and zoom this photo a little so the octopus could be seen…. can you see it?

Manta ray

Manta Ray

Spotted rayfish

Spotted rayfish

We found the manta ray and spotted rayfish in a lagoon and not in the open waters. We were sitting on a jetty one lazy afternoon and looked down and what do we see swim past but these two.

The Birds

There are so many different species of birds in the Galapagos. These were the ones we were fortunate to see and snap a photo of.

Lava Heron

Lava Heron

One of many Darwin finches

Finch

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

One of many warblers

Warbler

Great Frigatebird

Frigate

They are huge just sitting there. Watching them in the air is simply unreal. There look enormous when you see their wingspan in flight.

Frigate2

Galapagos Pintail

Pintail

Lava Gull

Lava Gull

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Greater Flamingo

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Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Galapagos Penguin

Penguin

Brown Pelican

Pelican

Blue-Footed Boobie

 

BlueFooted Boobies

Interesting name… but there are plenty of boobies to see in the Galapagos. These blue-footed ones are easy to spot thanks to their bright blue feet. When they are in their mating prime, their feet are the bright blue.. it fades when it’s not time.

Just for a bit of fun, can you spot the four different species of bird in this photo?

BirdCombo

Disclaimer: We apologise if we have named any of the animals incorrectly, this is us digging into our memory bank 🙂 If you spot any errors, please let us know.

Up until NOW, we hadn’t really appreciated the extent of all the wildlife we encountered on this trip.

Where would you recommend we go to do some more wildlife spotting?

Leave us a comment.

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bremen town musicians in riga

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In the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale: “Town Musicians of Bremen“, the 4 animals (donkey, dog, cat and rooster) are standing on each other’s backs peering into a house of robbers feasting.

The statue, gifted to Riga by their sister city Bremen, has a political satirical connotation.

Wise Monkey Trivia: The 4 animals are standing on each other’s back but are looking through the “Iron Curtain”. 

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As always, we welcome any comments or thoughts here

weekend walks: singapore zoo

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We had forgotten how hot and humid Singapore is – it was 9 years (to the day in fact) since we had been here! Walking around Singapore is not only draining but also uncomfortable. Our only refuge is air conditioning wherever we can find it.

This weekend walk was around Singapore Zoo. Our day trip to the zoo also included a visit to the River Safari which was created by the Night Safari guys.

As with all our other walks, we always discover something new. This time, as we walked through both parks, we grew an even greater appreciation for animals. There are just so many different types: big, small, colourful, spiky, smooth, furry… Each one individually created with its unique characteristics and role in our world! It’s always a harsh reminder how much destruction has occurred and is still occurring, endangering lives of so many precious creatures.

We all can play a part (no matter how small) in making it possible to save this planet and all the wonderful animals so that our future generations can enjoy nature and wildlife as we can today.

Another thing that we learnt was how much we would like to be able to see some of these animals in their natural environments one day.

Hope you enjoy our pictures this week from Singapore Zoo.

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And only a few minutes before, he was keeping cool inside his cave, looking outside the doorway!

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Additional travel info:
How to get to Singapore Zoo / River Safari / Night Safari?
We took the RED MRT to Ang Mo Kio, caught bus no 138 to Singapore Zoo.

How much are tickets to Singapore Zoo?
A Park Hopper ticket cost us $50 for both Singapore Zoo and River Safari. The combo ticket includes unlimited tram rides around the zoo. There are other combinations available but we chose not to visit the Night Safari this time.

weekly photo challenge: treasure

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The Weekly Photo Challenge asked us what we treasure….

We treasure each other and our families of course. But for this challenge, we are showing another thing we treasure: the world around us.

The one experience that we both hold dear is when we were able see Lonesome George in his last months on earth. Lonesome George was the last of the Pinta Island tortoises and is the Galapagos Island conservation icon.

He represents to us how precious and vulnerable nature is and how much we need to treasure it!

Lonesome George - the last of his kind
Lonesome George – the last of his kind