Thursday, October 28, 2010

Galapagos Animal Adaptations

Eco-cruise in the Galapagos. Web. 29 Oct 2010.

The Blue-footed Booby Bird
The Blue-footed Booby, or Sula nebouxii, is a marine bird that lives in the Galapagos Islands. The Booby only goes on land to nest at night. It is a carnivore, and it can gather with thousands of other Boobies, one, or none to eat. It will swoop down into the water for fish, and if with a flock the Boobies will dive in unison. They can go as far as three feet deep. The Blue-footed Booby has a life span of seventeen years, and it can weigh up to 3.25 pounds. The Booby uses its bright blue feet to attract a mate. It has an intricate mating ritual that consists of an ostentatious dance* of its feet. The bluer the Booby's feet, the better chance it has of mating. The Boobies are opportunistic breeders meaning they only breed when the conditions are right. They do not breed year-round. A femal Booby can lay 2-3 eggs at once. Both the male and female Booby incubate the egg. Switching off between the roles of watching out, or warming the egg. Since they do not have brooding patches, the boobies use their webbed feet to cover their eggs and to keep their young warm.
The female Booby will only mate with a Booby that has blue feet, so when it does the gene of blue feet is passed down into their young so that they can mate, and so on.
The name Booby comes from the Spanish word Bobo meaning clumsy or stupid. This is because the Boobies are quite clumsy on land.
*Click on this link to see the Blue-footed Booby Mating Dance

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