The Galapagos Giant Tortoise

Tortoise, Turtle or Terrapin? It all depends on where you find them. The Galapagos Islands are world famous with the large lumbering gentle beasts that dot the landscape on certain islands. A visit to Urbina Bay on Isabela Island shared intimate views of wild Giant Tortoises. Tortoise highways could be seen through the underbrush and if one walks quietly perhaps one can cross paths with one on the trail.

Coming across this lovely female on the trail, she tucked her head in. Perhaps thinking that if she didn’t see us, perhaps we wouldn’t see her.

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She sat there patiently waiting for the tourists to leave. As one group finished, our group walked up to take our photos. Bringing up the rear of the group, I waited after everyone had left and quietly spoke to her. She brought her head out as it to say hello and gave me a proper Tortoise greeting.

gal1apr14am-2046It indeed showed that good things come to those that wait. The beauty of these land residing reptiles and their untelling age makes them quite intriguing. As the largest living species of Tortoise, the Galapagos Giant Tortoise can live well over 100 years and can weigh up to 800 pounds and five feet long.

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These giant beasts with faces of the ages slowly lumber through their day eating vegetation and keeping cool from the beating rays of the equatorial sun.

The Galapagos Giant Tortoises found at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island were not the only ones we were able to see during our week long cruise visit in the Galapagos. There were plenty more to discover. Stay tuned for the next Giant Tortoise stop.


24 replies »

  1. I saw a doco last year on the Galapagos Islands by David Attenborough and it was amazing, made me want to go there, I can’t wait to see more photos.

  2. Most of us will never get a chance to visit the Galapagos, so it’s really a pleasure to see them through your eyes and your lenses. I can’t wait for more!

  3. Intriguing. I like traveling with you! I like how you showed her some respect and she paid you back with some great, personal images. The one from the side of her eye is my favorite. She tells of so much life it seems but up close holds beauty.

    Thank you. I saw the other day on TV that the oldest Tortoise was at least 180 years old. I can’t imagine saying Ah I’m 100, 80 more to go!


    • What…180 years old? Please don’t give me that sentence. My body hurts enough at 50!

      It’s incredible how responsive the wildlife is there. Many visitors – while generally respectful, just don’t have true animal karma. I was thrilled she trusted me enough to relax a little.

      • That sounds like a real honor. I can imagine how people act. I think some people think that animals are there just to entertain us.

      • We are all well. We’ve just come back from our 3-week Easter holiday and didn’t always have internet access: only in campsites, that’s why I haven’t been round. Puppy is great and walking and running perfectly. He seems totally recovered.
        Glad to hear that spring has arrived in your neck of the woods. Happy photographing! 🙂

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