5 Unique Animals in Hotel Solymar Galapagos
The ever present Marine Iguana, guest will spot many of these Endemic marine iguanas around our pool, hanging from the lava rock sea wall and even jumping from the roof. While marine iguanas are ungainly on land, in the water they are graceful swimmers. They use their tail for propulsion and their sharp claws for hanging on to rocks in strong currents. Marine iguanas eat seaweed, but also scrape algae off of rocks, which is why they have flat nose well adapted for doing so. They often have white patched on their faces, this comes from their nasal gland which expels excess salt that is ingested while eating.
Guests will see many a Frigate bird gliding above Hotel Solymar and the fisherman's wharf as well. Frigate birds have the largest wing span too body weight ratio of all bird. They spend most of their time airborne as they do not walk well or swim. These birds dive down and snatch their prey from the surface of the water catching fish, marine iguanas, baby turtles, just to name a few. These birds received their name due to their habit of snatching prey from other birds like young blue footed boobies, shearwaters and immature pelicans.
Sally Lightfoot crab (Red Rock Crab)
Sally lightfoot crabs are one of the more photogenic species we have in Galapagos. The adult crabs are brilliant red with yellow "faces" and blue underbelly. Guests can find them hanging from our lava rock seawall and scurrying around our ocean front patio. They have a symbiotic relationship with marine iguanas as they have been seen cleaning bugs off of their skin. Sally light foot crabs received their name as they are capable of running in all directions and are very difficult to catch!
Galapagos Sea lions
Galapagos sea lions are a bit smaller than their Californian relatives and their external ears are one of the more noticeable differences between them and seals. Most of the sea lions that guests will see on our patio are females as males have their colonies on a dock about 500 meters from our hotel. These "Lobos del Mar" can be found lazing on our deck, taking a dip in our pool and posing for pictures on our lounge chairs. Sea lions are very efficient hunters, feeding mostly on sardines, so they spend most of their days sleeping and playing.
Lava gulls are the rarest gulls in the world, their entire population lives in the Galapagos Islands. Guests can find these rare gulls stalking around the pool vying for the best spot. The gulls are overall dark ashy grey, their wings are the darkest and the lightest on their underside. Lava gulls have scarlet red mouths and the white around their eyes helps them to see at night. Lava gulls are most likely to scavenge or steal from nests, but also eat fish and small crustaceans.