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In the vastness of the Pacific,
there's a place unlike any other.

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Enchanted volcanic islands,
make a home to a remarkable

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collection of animals and plants.

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Here evolution is proceeding
at extraordinary speed.

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Galapagos.

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A place of wonders.

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Millions of years ago, the islands
were colonized by a strange cast of characters.

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But to settle in this harsh
unforgiving landscape,

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those new arrivals had to
dramatically adapt their bodies.

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Today, revelatory discoveries are still
being made about them.

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And from their story, we can piece together
how Galapagos came to be

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one of the most diverse
environments on our planets.

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It's perhaps surprising
that the Galapagos

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should have become famous
for its biodiversity.

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For the fact is, that living conditions here
are very tough.

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On the Equator, the heat is intense.

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There's very little water. Much of the land
is covered by bare volcanic rock.

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And yet every species
that lives here

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is descended from an ancestor from the continent,
that have taken on these conditions,

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and won.

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And the way which they did so,
is extraordinary.

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Episode 2
ADAPTATION

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The total land area of 16 islands
and rocky outcrops that make up Galapagos

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is less than half that of Wales.

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And yet for its size,
There are more unique species here

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than anywhere else on earth.

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Why should that be?

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There are clues
hidden within the landscape.

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This crescent-shaped strip of cliff

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rising steeply from the Pacific Ocean,

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is the island of Tortuga.

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And like all the Galapagos islands,
it's a wonderful place to see wildlife.

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Here and there
there's a sea lion.

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And above that, nesting sea birds

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Boobies and Galapagos Gulls.

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But you only really appreciate
the true character of this island

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from the air.

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From here, it's clear that this is the last fragment
of an extinct volcano.

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These curving cliffs are all that remains
of what was once

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a completely circular crater.

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And that is an indication of something very significant,

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