Galapagos Islands

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Overview:

Recently, a scientific expedition has discovered a previously unknown coral reef with abundant marine life off Ecuador's Galapagos Islands.

About Galapagos Island:

  • Location: It is situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast. 
  • It is distributed on either side of the Equator with an underwater wildlife spectacle with abundant life.
  • Geology of the Island:
    • It begins at the sea floor and emerges above sea level where biological processes continue.
    • Three major tectonic plates Nazca, Cocos and Pacific meet at the basis of the ocean, which is of significant geological interest.
    • In comparison with most oceanic archipelagos, the Galapagos are very young with the largest and youngest islands, Isabela and Fernandina, with less than one million years of existence, and the oldest islands, Española and San Cristóbal, somewhere between three to five million years. 
    • It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.
    • Mount Azul at 5,541 feet is the highest point of the Galapagos Islands. 

Key facts about Coral Reefs

  • Corals are marine invertebrates or animals not possessing a spine.
  • Each coral is called a polyp and thousands of such polyps live together to form a colony, which grows when polyps multiply to make copies of themselves.
  • Corals share a symbiotic relationship with single-celled algae called zooxanthellae.
  • The algae provide the coral with food and nutrients, which they make through photosynthesis, using the sun’s light.
  • In turn, the corals give the algae a home and key nutrients. The zooxanthellae also give corals their bright colour.

  


Q1) What is an island?

It is a piece of land surrounded by water, which can be either a river, lake, or ocean. Islands can vary in size from small, rocky outcroppings to large land masses.They can be formed through a variety of geological processes, such as volcanic activity, erosion, or tectonic plate movement.

Source: New coral reef discovered in Ecuador's Galapagos Islands