A large prickly pear cactus tree blooms on colorful South Plaza Island. The orange of the Sesuvium ground vegetation indicates it’s dry season. In the background, resting at anchor, is the 103-foot yacht Treasure of the Galapagos, our home during the trip.
In his notes, Darwin referred to marine iguana’s with relative revulsion. “The black Lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large (2-3 ft), disgusting clumsy Lizards. They are as black as the porous rocks over which they crawl & seek their prey from the Sea. I call them ‘imps of darkness’. They assuredly well become the land they inhabit.”
The cold-blooded reptiles are the only lizard that has evolved the ability to live and forage in the sea.
On Darwin’s 1835 visit to Galapagos, it was his identification of three distinct species of mockingbird that initially led him to question the stability of species. On this trip, he comes face-to-face with a fourth species: the Hood mockingbird. This one, by far the most aggressive of an already curious species, will explore almost anything in search of the most rare commodity on the islands: fresh water. This one examines an abandoned albatross egg along with Darwin.