The Galapagos Giant Turtle (scientific name Chelonoidis nigra) is the largest living species of turtle. Today, they only exist in two different archipelagos: the Galapagos Islands west of Ecuador, and Aldabra in the Indian Ocean to the East of Tanzania. In the wild, these big guys can live 100 years or more! The size and shape of their shells can vary, as noted by Charles Darwin in his 1835 voyage to the Galapagos Islands on The Beagle.
On islands with humid highlands, the Galapagos is seen having a domed shell with a short neck, and are typically larger. On islands with dry lowlands, the tortoises are smaller with shells that are raised in front, and longer necks.
Different Species For Different Islands
As might be expected, different types of Galapagos tortoises inhabit different islands as each has a different environment. The largest island, Isabela Island, hosts five different types including the Volcan Wolf, which is named for a nearby volcano. The island of Pinta hosts a turtle called Lonesome George, who is the last known of the C. Abingdonii species.
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Coquí refers to several different species of frogs native to Puerto Rico. They are named after the (very loud) mating sounds made by the males of the Mountain Coquí and the Common Coquí species. There are over 16 types of Coqui Frog, and amazingly enough, 13 different species can be found in Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest. Other species of Coquí are scattered throughout the Carribean and other tropical areas such as Central America. This vast range of species has one defining characteristic: all the types of Coquís’ young hatch directly from egg to small frog, bypassing the Tadpole stage while they are still inside their eggs.
Coquí In The Ecosystem
The Coquí frogs perform the role of predator in their ecosystem, eating bugs that would normally feast on trees and plants. Plants and trees are vital to the survival of the Coquí and other animals in the forest, because they produce oxygen for animals to live on, and also provide shelter to some species. The Coquí Frog has also appeared in Hawaii on the Island by the same name and on the Island of Mau, both of which view it as invasive and have tried to keep populations under control using various methods.
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