50.0 MB (2.5 MB compressed)
3619 x 4829 pixels
30.7 x 40.9 cm ⏐ 12.1 x 16.1 in (300dpi)
PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Galapagos giant tortoises (Geochelone nigra vandenburghi) gather in volcanically heated thermal pools to keep warm overnight at altitude. The pools are found on the rim of volcano Alcedo on the island of Isabela of the Galapagos archipelago. The photos show them inactive at night and then emerging to forage at sunrise. Local vegetation is poisoned by volcanic minerals in the soil. Alcedo is the site of succesfull efforts to remove invasive introduced species (principally goats) which threaten the stable ecology of the caldera and the tortoises long-term future.
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