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The Galápago Islands,Ecuador

The Galápago Islands,Ecuador
The Galápago Islands,Ecuador

The Galápagos Islands, official nameArchipiélago de Colón other Spanish names: Islas Galápagos (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡaˈlapaɣos]) are anarchipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, 926 km (575 mi) west of continental Ecuador, of which they are a part.
The Galápagos Islands and their surrounding waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a biological marine reserve. The principal language on the islands is Spanish. The islands have a population of slightly over 25,000.
The islands are famed for their vast number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle. His observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.
The first recorded visit to the islands happened by chance in 1535, when the Dominican friar Fray Tomas de Berlanga went to Peru to arbitrate in a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and his subordinates. De Berlanga was blown off course, though he eventually returned to the Spanish Empire and described the conditions of the islands and the animals that inhabited them. The first navigation chart of the islands was made by the buccaneer Ambrose Cowley in 1684. He named the individual islands after some of his fellow pirates or after the British noblemen who helped the privateer's cause. More recently, the Ecuadorian Government gave most of the islands Spanish names. While the Spanish names are official, many users (especially ecological researchers) continue to use the older English names, principally because those were the names used when Charles Darwin visited.
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