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Galapagos

Galapagos, an archipelago consisting of five large and ten small islands in the Pacific Ocean, on the Equator, 500 miles from Ecuador, of which they form part, and to which the three inhabited isles - Albemarle, Charles, and Chatham - formed a penal settlement. They were discovered by the Spaniards in the 16th century, and obtained their name from the multitude of gigantic tortoises, of which the islands contain many species. The islands are of undoubted volcanic origin, as is shown by the great number of craters existing, and by the depth of the sea all round. There is little rain, and much of the soil is rocky and parched. The fauna and flora are extremely interesting on account of the isolation of the position, and the fact that many species are peculiar to particular islands. Darwin and Wallace have both made interesting studies in this direction.

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