Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
H. James Birx
On the Galapagos Islands, one has the exciting opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin on this primeval archipelago seemingly isolated from the destructive encroachment of human civilization and the ravages of time. This isolated archipelago consists of 15 major islands, along with numerous islets, uplifts, and reefs, located on the equator about 600 miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. The “enchanted islands” reveal disturbing facts about this allegedly forgotten world of rock and life, often erroneously depicted as lost in time and enduring beyond the forces of change: The Galapagos flora and fauna struggle in the shadows of active volcanoes to survive against the increasing menaces of recently introduced species, particularly the human animal itself. Darwin's eerie “cradle of life” appears as an inhospitable world of lava flows and desolate vistas: a cluster of igneous islands looking like a group of enormous chunks of lunar ...