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The Galapagos: Track 1

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The Galapagos Islands are famous for inspiring Charles Darwin to form his Theory of Evolution based on the biodiversity he'd observed there. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of his "On the origin of species", and the unspoilt islands still fascinate researchers. Some of the plants and animals that live here are found nowhere else on Earth. Today that biodiversity is under threat from an increasing population, tourism and invasive non-native species. The video tracks on this album retraces Darwin's first steps on the Galapagos islands, looks at some of the species that fascinated him, and at how threats to the environment are being managed. It also follows the day-to-day research of two biological scientists - Beatrix Schramm, who tries to get a faecal sample from a Giant Tortoise to learn more about what triggers them to mate, and Martin Wikelski who studies marine iguanas and the problems they face as a result of their choice of food. In the audio track, Open University biologist David Robinson talks about his long relationship with the Galapagos Islands and explores some of the issues raised in the video tracks.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

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Track 1: The Galapagos

A short introduction to this album.


© The Open University 2008


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 The Galapagos    A short introduction to this album. Play now The Galapagos
2 Darwin's Arrival on the Galapagos Islands    An Introduction to the Galapagos and Darwin's first experience on the islands on 8th October 1835. Play now Darwin's Arrival on the Galapagos Islands
3 Finches on Galapagos    Darwin's study of the evolution of finches on the islands. Play now Finches on Galapagos
4 Darwin's thoughts on the Marine Iguanas    How the iguanas have evolved as swimmers to eat seaweed. Play now Darwin's thoughts on the Marine Iguanas
5 The Eradication of the Goats    Why 50,000 goats had to be culled due to their effect on the tortoise population Play now The Eradication of the Goats
6 Managing Tourism in the Galapagos Islands    A look at the Galapagos Islands' relationship with tourists and conservation. Play now Managing Tourism in the Galapagos Islands
7 Eradicating the Red Quinine Plant    How the non-native red quinine plant is a nuisance in the Galapagos, and its eradication programme. Play now Eradicating the Red Quinine Plant
8 Galapagos - research biology heaven    On the Galapagos, animals are unafraid of predators, so they're easy for scientists to observe Play now Galapagos - research biology heaven
9 Getting the nitty gritty on iguanas    As home to more than 10% of the world's iguanas, it's the best place for researchers to study them. Play now Getting the nitty gritty on iguanas
10 First - catch your iguana    Setting up a laboratory to study the iguanas. Play now First - catch your iguana
11 Which tortoise dropped that?!    Collecting hormones from faeces for research into mating behaviour of the giant tortoise. Play now Which tortoise dropped that?!
12 Testing times    How to catch and measure the stamina and speed of a marine iguana, and how to get a blood sample from a Giant Tortoise Play now Testing times
13 What's that iguana eaten?    Analysing the contents of an iguana stomach . Play now What's that iguana eaten?
14 Using Ultrasound    Using an ultrasound recorder i to see the tortoise's eggs in their annual sexual cycle. Play now Using Ultrasound
15 Using radio transmitters    Using radio transmitters under the skin to understand iguana behaviour. Play now Using radio transmitters
16 Exploring the issues    Open University biologist David Robinson talks about his long relationship with the Galapagos Islands and explores some of the issues raised in the video tracks. Play now Exploring the issues
17 The method of research into animals living on the Galapagos    The research process involved in the study of marine iguanas and giant tortoises in the Galapagos. Play now The method of research into animals living on the Galapagos

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