The unique Galapagos flightless cormorant


The unique Galapagos flightless cormorant

Flightless cormorant

The Flightless Cormorant also called Galapagos Cormorant one of the most exceptional and fascinating birds on Earth, it’s a inhabitant of the Galapagos Islands, more specifically can be only found on Isabela and Fernandina island’s isolated environment, with an estimated population of 800 pairs is a sample of the extremely atypical and evolved fauna on the Galapagos Islands, after his visit to the islands on board of the beagle the scientific Charles Darwin proposed that the Flightless Cormorant evolved from common cormorants that reached the Galapagos island many generations ago, but their descendants lost the ability to fly, among other reasons, because of not having the necessity of using their fly to reach for food and the lack of natural land based predators on its new environment , more elaborated and current studies states that this change took place through a mutation or genetic replication error, a mutation would usually be detrimental for a specie, but could have been valuable to the cormorants on the Galapagos islands.

Due its inability to fly the flightless cormorant has defined its feeding area within 100 meter from the cost out to the sea where he finds all the food necessary for its sustain, Although they cannot fly, they are exceptional swimmers that feed on small fish, eels, and octopus

The Flightless Cormorant courtship ceremony seems almost human as is tender and gentle; the male cormorant brings gifts such as sticks to the female cormorant until she responds positively. Nesting takes place in July until October. The ritual begins in the water and then continues on the land.

The entire populations of this rare species are located within the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve; The Charles Darwin Research Station has been constantly monitoring the species to keep count of the changes in their numbers over time and to take actions in order to preserve them.

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