The Galapagos These islands rose up from the depths of the sea and were never in contact with a continent. They are volcanic islands which surfaced 5 million years ago. The animals that inhabited them have evolved in genuinely unique ways. For example, the animal the islands are named after. The giant Galapagos tortoises A very special animal, with a very special face. And it’s quite resistant, particularly to drought. Thanks to their special metabolism these tortoises can go a year without drinking. f course, if there’s any water around, they drink it and enjoy it like anyone else. The tortoises love to wallow in these pools. They give themselves a mud bath and incidentally get rid of any parasites. This male seems to be enjoying himself. A female in season comes out of the woods and approaches the pool as though she had nothing on her mind So far the male hasn’t smelled the lady tortoise But when she begins to drink, a stimulating scent reaches his nostrils and in a sudden burst of agility he sets off in pursuit of the female. And she turns and runs away, which is very understandable. The male uses all of his 520lbs to pin her to the ground, not a very delicate way of doing things. And this is the manzanillo tree, that’s so poisonous that just brushing against it produces painful ulcers on the skin. And its fruits are also poisonous, but not to everyone. The Galapagos tortoises love them First the fruits go in, then they go out in the tortoise’s feces. And it looks like these fruits are really good for them. Some of the tortoises reach two hundred years of age without getting a stomach ulcer.