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Islands of fire: barren but diverse

The Galápagos Islands were created by volcanic eruptions and are still shaped by them today. It was a relatively short time ago that new habitats for plants and animals were created, completely isolated in the middle of the ocean. Although the islands are located in the tropical region on the equator, the climate is subject to significant seasonal variations, as warm and cold ocean currents meet and interact with each other. It is a particularly arid region where plants adapted to dry climates predominate. However, the higher the island, the greater the variety of plant communities. These are, in turn, ideal conditions for land snails, which are herbivores and use the plants for shelter. A single snail species, originating from the South American mainland, evolved into over 60 species on the Galápagos Islands.