Isabella Penguin, the Galápagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) Isabella and Fernandina Islands

Penguins swam up the coast of South America with the cool waters of the Humboldt Current eons ago. These little creatures, no taller than 20 inches, weigh less than 6 pounds. Related to the banded penguins, the Jackass, Magellenic and Humboldt, they are the only penguins that live north of the equator. They adapted to their environment and are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. The isolated location and protection from water currents kept man away and let Nature to evolve untouched by man till the 1800’s. Adaptation of many species is part of what makes the Galapagos so important. Charles Darwin spent three weeks here during his voyage on the HMS Beagle in the 1830’s and this ultimately led to writing his Origin of Species that was published in 1859