The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most fascinating and exotic creatures on the planet and, unlike in many other parts of the world, Galapagos animals never learn to fear humans. Because these islands are located 600 miles off the nearest coastline, the islands have a low biodiversity (few species). Compared to other areas of the tropics, many important animal groups from the mainland are missing. The animals that inhabit the islands today are species whose ancestors were already well suited for harsh environments. On the 13 major islands and associated islets, we find mammals, reptiles, shore birds, water birds, sea birds and land birds. Amongst the more interesting creatures are the giant Galapagos tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and Darwin finches.