A three part 2013 Sky TV documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough who returns to the Galapagos Islands for the fourth time and travels throughout the Islands to explain their history, evolution and the unique fauna. This 2D version (the one we have embedded above) was broadcast on Sky One, the series was initially filmed entirely in 3D (broadcast with the title Galapagos 3D). The series is notable for featuring the first known footage of the rare Galapagos pink land iguana, a species which was first discovered in 2009.
Attenborough observes a group of Galapagos tortoises in a mud pool on Isabela Island. In this episode he explains how the Islands came to be formed and why they are populated with such an unusual assortment of creatures that are unique to the Islands. The Islands were first formed 4 million years ago as volcanoes rising from the ocean floor, but how did the famous reptiles reach the Island?
The second episode considers how the plants and animals which found themselves on the Island managed to adapt to the extreme conditions that they found themselves in? Marine Iguanas for example had to adapt to feeding on seaweed near to the shoreline and evolve to expel salt from a special gland. Scientists exploring lava tunnels which run under the Islands are still discovering new species!
In the third and final episode David Attenborough explains why the Islands have the largest number of unique species in proportion to any other place on the planet, and it goes much deeper than the absence of any large land predators. In the closing sequences he is filmed with Lonesome George, the last surviving Pinta Island tortoise. He died just two weeks later.
If you would like to learn more about the nature of the Galapagos, the history of the Islands, and the role that it has played in human history and in shaping our understanding of the world then consider purchasing the Paul D. Stewart book Galápagos: The Islands That Changed the World, available in paperback format only.