Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lesson of the day extravaganza-- Bad asses of the Galapagos Islands

This movie is pure goodness. I'm seriously going to marry the BBC simply on the basis of their documentaries (and their hot abs).

The Galapagos Islands, almost 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador, are the inspiration for Darwin's theory of evolution. They contain a myriad of animals that exist nowhere else on Earth, and have adapted in amazing ways to the harsh and unique terrain of the islands.

In an attempt to breath life back into an idea I had near the beginning of my blog, the bad asses of the animal kingdom series, I present to you a smattering of the bad asses of the Galapagos.

Humour me and vote for the baddest of them all. The creature will get the joy of a photoshopped crown of some sort in a future post... and all associated glory.

Bad Ass #1- The Marine Iguana

The marine iguana is the only modern lizard that has the ability to swim.
But they don't only swim... they dive off massive cliffs into water as deep as 15 meters for up to half an hour just to munch on some algae, then dodge hordes of chasing sealions to scale back up the cliff again.

Bad Ass #2- The Galapagos Land Iguana

Not to be outdone by their marine counterparts, the females of this species will scale up to the top of volcanoes to find the best places to lay eggs, and will brawl other women to obtain the best spot. If there are no spots to be had at the top, they will crawl down a cliff into a volcanic crater!

Bad Ass #3- The Nazca Booby

The Nazca booby may look a little dull when compared to its more famous Galapagos cousin, the Blue-Footed Booby.
However, these creatures are vicious from birth. Two booby babies (yes, I'm immature and giggled while writing that) are always born several days apart, and the eldest, nearly without fail, pushes his/her younger sibling out of the nest where he/she dies in front of his/her seemingly uncaring mother's eyes!

Bad Ass #4- The Giant Tortoise

Over 500 lbs and live over 150 years. They don't even need to do anything to be bad ass!
Although do they eat cactus with the spines on.

Bad Ass #5- The Galapagos Penguin

How can penguins essentially living on the ecuator not be bad ass?

Bad Ass #6- Vampire Finch

Pssh, you may say. How can a wee little finch be bad-ass?
By feeding on the blood of blue-footed boobies, that's how!
(That is seriously the most ominous photo ever)


And a few creatures that don't quite fit the contest, but are still cool nonetheless.

Frigate bird

The fact that they viciously attack other sea birds and relentlessly seduce the ladies with their throbbing orange throat certainly sounds bad ass- but these avian casanovas are found elsewhere in the world, and thus excluded from competition.

Ghost crab

Though the fact that their awesome eyes mean they can have 360 degree vision, these guys also aren't unique to the Galapagos, and cannot be in competition for the crown.

Now, what are you waiting for, people?? Go vote!


Ant said...

Wow! I'm seriously tempted to go for number three simply because I want to combine the words "vicious booby babies" (or maybe "vicious baby boobies") in the same phrase as "bad ass".

However, that blood-stained beak of the vampire finch has to be the baddest ass of them all - it gets my vote!

Side-note: one of my constant queries about nature is a simple "why?" Why does the iguana have to go to a volcanic crater to procreate (especially if it has to fight once there)? Penguins too - my dad once said that they embody nature's cruellest joke: a bird that has to migrate thousands of miles over the Antartic every year and yet can't fly - even though it has wings!

Beth said...

So, the creature that makes me cringe the most gets my vote.
That would be the marine iguana - not sure why. All he's doing is swimming.
Still, I find that picture eerie.

The Duke said...

The Iguna was pretty fucking badass when it sawm, but seeing it get picked off by that mu fuckin eagle lost it some points.


SMARTBuddy said...

Tis good. Ive recently got the 'Planet Earth' BBC series on DVD, which also rocks this particular house. Go Tortoise!

Indiana James said...

The marine iguana was pretty cool looking. I guess that's where they got the inspiration for the last Godzilla movie. Looks a lot like it. I would have to say the bad ass award goes to the giant tortoise. Those other guys have the tools to fight like claws and beaks and wings and the what not. This guy eats friggin cacti!!!