Gigantism is often associated with the Galapagos Islands. The giant tortoise of course is what first comes to mind. These creatures, that are WAY bigger than your usual turtle, in the wild do feel like dinosaurs. Of course, they are not as big as a dinosaur, but they have that prehistoric feel to them that steals the show (I guess you’ll have to book yourself a Galapagos cruise to find out!)
There are other examples of bizarrely large nature and wildlife in the Galapagos Islands. The second that comes to my mind, after the giant tortoises (of which Lonesome George was an iconic representative…) are the cacti. Enormous prickly pear and candelabra trees that break out from the volcanic rock on many Galapagos shorelines (and inland as well) are fed upon by huge land iguanas… (and giant tortoises as well)… it is a Jurassic-Parkesque vision, of course, that just adds to the Galapagos travel vibe.
Gigantism in islands has been studied and duly noted since Darwin, and serve to support the theory of Evolution. The lack of small predators, a domino effect between large prey and the need for predators to grow larger, and the lack of competitors in newly colonized island wildlife results in the gigantism that we see not only in the Galapagos Islands with the tortoises, but in many other archipelagos as well. Giant rats on Tenerife, giant bees in Indonesia, huge swans in Sicily or enormous crickets in New Zealand… to name a few… are other examples.
So why are Galapagos penguins so small? Well, that’s another story…