How to Eat Healthy at a Fast Food Joint

How to Eat Healthy at a Fast Food Joint

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight, or who just makes healthy eating habits, knows to avoid fast food restaurants. Those cheeseburgers, fried chicken sandwiches, fries, and milkshakes can wreak havoc on your best intentions.

Sometimes fast food restaurants are inevitable. If you are on the road and nothing else is available, or your kids are screaming for toys in children’s food, you may not have alternative food choices.

But that does not mean you have to be tempted or cheated. Here’s a guide to healthy eating at fast food joints!

Tex-Mex Seductive … But Can Also Be Healthful
Stop at a fast-casual tex-mex place like Chipotle, Qdoba or Moe’s? Skip the burritos, guacamole (the price is more expensive!), And whatever soup or salad is on a plate made of fried tortillas.

A burrito bowl can be a good choice, though, if you miss the rice, cheese, and sour cream. Load peanuts, lean proteins like chicken, and fajita vegetables. To enhance the taste of your bowl, add extra low broth such as cilantro, Pico de gallo or salsa, and black olives.

Yes, You Can Eat at Joint Burger
As long as you are very careful with your order, even a hamburger place was forbidden. Choose a plain burger without mayo or “special sauce”, and request extra lettuce, tomatoes, and shallots.

Or try a grilled chicken sandwich, again with extra vegetables. Mustard adds a kick without adding calories, but be careful with ketchup, which is loaded with sugar and salt. Another option here is to go bun-less and your burger is wrapped in lettuce.

If you find yourself in Wendy’s, try their famous chilli – which is huge only 310 calories and will fill you up. Their baked potatoes can also be a good choice, provided you limit the toppings.

A word to the wise: do not be fooled by healthy-sounding options than dogs, like salads. While some fast food salads come in a healthy lifestyle, others are calorie bombs. Anything with fried chicken, creamy dressings, and extra high fat like nuts or crunchy noodles should be on your black list.

Pizza, Pizza!
Pizza can be an indulgence, but there are some healthier options. Most weight-loss programs for women do not prohibit food explicitly, but suggest modifying and controlling portions.

Some chains offer varieties of “gardens”; In general, the more vegetables you can accumulate on your fast food supply, the better!

If you have a choice between thin and thick crust, a thin crust is the winner.

Either way, keep your intake down to one slice, but beware the sodium level, and work to consume less sodium in the rest of your day’s food.

Get Your Sandwich
If you pass the melted meatballs and cheese, the sub-store can be relatively healthy. Turkish breasts are a safe bet, especially paired with whole wheat bread, abundant fresh vegetables, and mustard instead of mayo.

Of course, you should also say “no thanks” to any combo food that adds chips, cookies, or soft drinks to your lunch. Drink water instead, or choose low-fat milk for calcium.

The Military Might of Burgundy: Château de Bazoches

The Military Might of Burgundy: Château de Bazoches

One of the best but frequently overlooked ways to see Europe’s sights is by water. There’s nothing like cruising in a hotel barge and immersing yourself in the local scenery and culture, especially when there’s so much to see all around you. Join us aboard L’Art de Vivre on a journey through Burgundy, and soak up some of the finest attractions that France has to offer.
For lovers of France and military history alike, L’Art de Vivre will take you exactly where you’d like to go. The Château de Bazoches is a treasure trove of historical interest, military prowess and elegant architecture.

 

Back in Time

Dating back to the twelfth century, the grand château was originally built on a Roman site, overlooking the Morvan landscape. The estate itself originates from the fashionable antiquity of the seventeenth century, as evidenced by its magnificent architecture. Walking through its halls, you can easily imagine the courtiers of King Louis XIV strolling past you.

A True Genius

The most famous owner of the château is Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, widely renowned for his military genius. He purchased the estate following his enormous success in the siege of Maastricht, for which Louis XIV rewarded him with a large sum of money. His home became the headquarters for his strategic and fortification designs, which were widely respected and used by many French cities for over a century.

Ahead of his time, Vauban understood modern advances in technology and weaponry, making him a master of military planning. He would use intricate miniature ravelins, bastions and moats to further his ideas, and became a pioneer of the bayonet rifle, the iron-barrelled cannon and the mortar. His prowess in military engineering and strategy was unparalleled, so it’s no surprise that over 300 cities in France feature his designs, including Lille, Dunkirk and Bayonne.

Luxury Libraries

Château de Bazoches is also home to an extensive library, which contains over 5,000 books and is a must-see for literature enthusiasts. Vauban himself had a passion for literature, and penned his famous Royal Tithe during his time there. Unfortunately, his written criticism of the upper classes and the inequalities of the taxation system cost him his royal favour, causing him to fall from grace for the rest of his life.

Further Information

If the rich and varied history of this grand Burgundian house sounds too good to be true, what are you waiting for? European Waterways will take you on a luxury hotel barge cruise and ensure that you take in all of France’s best sights. For more information, don’t hesitate to explore our website or get in touch with our friendly team of experts.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury hotel barge holidays in France. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.

3 Historic Destinations for English Learning Tour Close to Home

3 Historic Destinations for English Learning Tour Close to Home

For teachers looking for school trip destinations that offer broad educational prospects but are also easily accessible, there is no need to look beyond our own threshold. England studying a tour to one of the fascinating and historically important sites throughout the UK provides many opportunities. Young minds are able to explore the history of layers and find the people, places and communities that have shaped our culture for thousands of years.
Study tours in the UK may include places of education suitable for students of all ages and can be tailored to particular curriculum learning. Primary school students can in particular benefit from visiting three historic destinations which, in some cases, may be only short train trips from the class. 3 Historic Destinations for English Learning Tour Close to Home

The Tudor Heritage of Stratford

England studying a tour to Stratford-upon-Avon enables students at any level of insightful curriculum about the lives and lives of playwrights whose influence still permeates the structure of our society. Exploring the history of Tudor about the birth of William Shakespeare not only brings his work into a sharper context, but also allows young learners to make a deeper connection with the man himself. 3 Historic Destinations for English Learning Tour Close to Home

The Royal Shakespeare Theater behind-the-scenes tour gives students a foundation in Bard’s contemporary and historical production of the artwork. Workshops are available for school groups of all ages and can be tailored to the specific learning objectives of the Main Stages 1 and 2, beginning with a first look at Shakespeare’s life.

Bristol Industrial Heritage

The city of Bristol played an important role in the British Industrial Revolution as a test site for Isambard Kingdom Brunel, one of the most influential engineers of the time. A visit to SS Great Britain makes a valuable inclusion in a UK study tour for elementary school students. School groups can visit docks and dry boats, located at the Great Western Dockyard, take part in workshops that reveal Brunel’s engineering achievements, and learn the history of UK trade and travel. The workshops can be tailored to the 1st or 2nd Stage, which includes an interactive boat building experience for the younger ones, and explores the story of former passengers and life in Victorian sea voyages for older children. 3 Historic Destinations for English Learning Tour Close to Home

Viking History in York

Although founded by the Romans, these were the Vikings who brought York to its peak as a vital trade center for Northern Europe. The Jorvik Viking Center is one of the most comprehensive learning facilities in the country, bringing Viking back into the future in a very interesting way.

The center stands in a very original location of the original Viking town, known as Jorvik. Archaeological remains of a tenth-century settlement provide an authentic atmosphere, as students attend workshops that investigate the culture of the Vikings. The workshops cover aspects of traditional combat and medicinal tactics, to poetry, mythology and costumes, which provide a comprehensive picture of Jorvik’s past.

The beauty of Britain’s storied heritage is so many pages of great written history in the landscape; cities and towns that are still part of contemporary life. Visiting the site where such an important event takes place will bring a life study textbook with context and clarity.

John Gardiner is Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specializing in English study tours for school and youth groups, as well as travel to destinations in Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveler, John is keen to provide students with a valuable and exciting learning experience outside the classroom. By sharing expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and continue their studies into life. 3 Historic Destinations for English Learning Tour Close to Home

Best Way To Use Equipment Financing For Your Startup

Startups need the right resources to develop from day one. That means having the latest equipment available for your industry.

But what if you lack the capital to finance the equipment you need for success early on?

Luckily, startup founders like you can take full advantage of equipment financing to start your company strongly, regardless of any industry.

What’s your industry?
According to the latest data from the Leasing Equipment and Finance Association, professionals finance the financing tools for the following industries:

The transportation industry receives most of the equipment financing, almost 30% of all equipment financing businesses.
IT and related computer businesses represent 21.3% of all equipment financing.
Construction comes 11.5%
Agricultural business receives slightly more than 9% of all financing.
The medical industry reached 4.7%
The industrial and manufacturing sectors received 3.7%
Energy-related companies represent 2.5% of the equipment financing portion.
Now, for the next question we consider. What is the best way to use your equipment’s financial loan?

How to Use your Equipment Funding
Also included in the same ELFA report are figures for office machines (4.2%) and material handling (2.8%).

Whether your startup is focused on technology or agriculture, office machines are essential for your startup.

For example, you can use a financial loan equipment to purchase the following requirements for your business:

Printer
Scanner
Fotocopy machine
Communication devices such as fax and telephone
Desktop and laptop computers
Paper cutting machine
Server
Router and Internet modem
Lamination machine
However, it is important to note that computers eventually become obsolete over time. Therefore, you may find yourself already in need of an upgrade as soon as you pay off your equipment loan.

That’s why we recommend to consider the financing of office equipment with a longer life cycle.

On the other hand, material handling equipment does not have a short life cycle like a Macbook Pro or Dell laptop.

Material handling equipment is used in all industries, especially in the transportation, construction, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

This type of equipment usually includes:

Conveyor belt
Silos for farming
Automated Guided Vehicles
Delivery pallet truck
General industrial trucks
Automatic picker
Side loader
Cranes
Other material handling equipment includes storage-related products such as stacking equipment, shelves, drive-in storage racks, and frames.

Material handling equipment is also important for start-up restaurants and other culinary related businesses.

If you are launching a new food startup, you may want to consider using your equipment financing loan to buy refrigerators, commercial freezers, commercial toasters, and ovens for example.

Equipment Financing: Next Steps
What’s great about being a new startup is you can immediately receive your equipment financing to get the ball rolling. In fact, you can even get approval by the end of one business day.

We recommend creating a list of the long laundry equipment you need to start your startup off the ground. It’s also important to get your finances to ensure you do not fall into “negative equity” during the first few years of your business as you repay your loan.

As a new business owner, you can take advantage of low equipment financing rates and pay off your loan over the span of 5 years as you work to generate that initial sale.

Cruising the Canal de Briare: a Barger’s Delight

Cruising the Canal de Briare: a Barger’s Delight

The picturesque Canal de Briare, which connects the valleys of the Seine and the Loire, is notable for a number of reasons apart from the delightful scenery through which it wends its way. A popular route for both private and commercial cruising vessels, the canal is renowned as one of the loveliest places for a barge holiday in France as well as being a highly impressive feat of engineering.
A Pioneering History

 

The canal is one of the country’s oldest manmade waterways, built between 1602 and 1642 under the patronage of Henry IV. When first constructed, it linked directly into the Loire at Montargis, but later in the nineteenth century the building of the famous Briare Aqueduct created a bypass to La Cognardière, 2.6km away. Despite its name, the aqueduct actually forms part of the Canal latéral à la Loire.

An Engineering Triumph

The canal was also the first to be constructed at summit level using “pound locks”, which feature a chamber with gates at either end to control the height of the water within. (Before then locks were created with a single gate.) A summit level canal first rises and then falls along its course, and in the case of the 57km Canal de Briare, it rises through 12 locks before falling through another 24 on an 85m descent.

During construction a number of artificial lakes were created in order to feed water into the locks. At the most precipitous location, Rogny, it was necessary to build what was in effect a “staircase” of seven locks in order to navigate the fall of the canal. While it was without a doubt an outstanding feat of engineering, the design caused huge hold-ups as each vessel had to navigate all seven locks before the next was able to pass through. In the end the staircase of locks was abandoned and the canal re-routed to bypass them, but the town was later renamed Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses in their honour.

Attractions en Route

Along with the locks at Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses, the many other attractions along the course of the canal make it a popular route for the itinerary of a barge holiday in France. In Montargis, one of the most renowned local businesses to have put this pretty town on the map is the Mazet Praline Shop. The confectioner still makes its praline treats to the recipe of founder, Leon Mazet, who opened the shop in 1903. As well as a range of chocolates and other delicacies, the shop is famous for its signature caramelised almond, the Prasline Mazet de Montargis.

Situated in the commune of Saint-Fargeau, the magnificent seventeenth-century Renaissance-style Château de Saint Fargeau is the cultural centrepiece of the region, with its chequered history dating back some one thousand years. Its present distinctive pentagonal construction surrounded by six imposing towers is built on top of an original fortress commissioned by Héribert, son of King Hugh Capet. Even though it is privately owned, many parts of the castle are open for public visitation.

From Ancient Trade to Modern Leisure

For many centuries the Canal de Briare existed as an important channel to transport coal, wood, wine and other supplies from the Loire Valley to Paris. Today, this beautiful waterway serves as one of the most appealing locations to explore on a barge holiday in France.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider for those looking for an all-inclusive, luxury barge holiday in France or other great destinations in Europe. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.

Ceramics and Châteaus: Discover Genteel Gien

Ceramics and Châteaus: Discover Genteel Gien

There’s little doubt that an essential element of all barge holidays in France is being able to dock at the myriad towns and villages that line the waterways and entice visitors in with their charms. As part of the itinerary of the hotel barge Renaissance, guests will be able to see the sights of Gien, renowned for its pottery and royal château.
Finding your Bearings

 

Prior to diving into the town, it is well worth disembarking on the south bank to take in the attractions of Gien all at once: from this vantage point, you can savour the spectacle of the river as it passes below the eighteenth-century bridge, under the watchful gaze of the sixteenth-century château.

Not even the loss of much of Gien’s historic buildings during World War II can detract from the pleasant view. Indeed, the painstaking and very convincing post-war reconstruction has done much to bury these ghosts of the past.

Marvel at Gien’s Pottery

Cultural exploration is an integral part of our barge holidays. In France, there are always abundant opportunities for the discerning traveller to discover regional produce, and Gien is no exception. The town has crafted a fine reputation for the calibre of its pottery, in particular for its Faïence pottery. Production began when Thomas Hall, an Englishman from Stoke-on-Trent who was intent on bringing high-quality English earthenware to France, established a factory in 1821.

In deciding to base his enterprise in Gien, Hall chose wisely, capitalising on the town’s physical amenities. The Sologne forest, which is in close proximity to Gien, provided a ready source of wood for the kilns. What’s more, the Loire granted access to markets throughout France (until water travel was superseded by the railways), in addition to providing sand and water for making clay.

While production continues to this day, the factory has also taken on a new guise as a museum dedicated to telling the story of the industry and shedding light on the making of these exquisite ceramics.

A Château Fit for Kings and Queens

There’s one more attraction that certainly merits a visit before you return to the hotel barge. Holidays in France are rarely complete without sojourning for a while at a château, and Gien’s has certainly welcomed its fair share of royal visitors. This elegant edifice was constructed for the use of Anne de Beaujeu, the daughter of Louis XI, in the final years of the fifteenth century. Future guests included Henri II and his wife Catherine de Médici, as well as Louis XIV, the famous ‘Sun King’.

Despite being bombed during World War II, the château was successfully restored. Since 1952, it’s housed a museum, which is dedicated to the most royal of pastimes: hunting. Through paintings, sculptures and an array of weapons and trophies from successful forays, the museum details how hunting and its depiction has developed through the centuries.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury barge holidays in France. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.

10 Most Frequently Used Thermal Marketing Keywords

10 Most Frequently Used Thermal Marketing Keywords

If marketing is art, content is a masterpiece!

You see, content drives sales, but also generates keywords. According to Wikipedia, keywords are words or phrases that become popular for a certain period of time.

To be more precise, these are the words that appear in almost all marketing posts published on the internet.

You may have read it, and we can not promise you that you get the last of them any time soon!

So, anyway, here are the 10 most used keywords on the internet today.

Can we?

# 1. Virus
In the internet-less world, viruses mean bad news, because life-threatening viruses can come loose.

But on the Internet Hal, when something stalls, marketers almost always laugh to the bank! 10 Most Frequently Used Thermal Marketing Keywords

Marketers (and almost anyone who uses social media) use the term to describe images, videos, articles, or other content types so that Internet users can not stop sharing.

# 2. Dive inside
No. It has nothing to do with swimming. Not even close to an inch of water.

In the world of digital marketing, deep diving means you will discuss the best detail of a particular topic.

Can we dive deep into the next keyword?

# 3. A thousand years
Everything, and for good reason, revolves around the millennium.

Being the greatest living generation (and the most complicated consumer), marketers do not seem to have enough of this stuff.

Nobody remembers the millennium also called generation Y, because, well. Let’s say a thousand years sounds better

# 4 Netflix and Chill
Seriously, it’s 2017, but Netflix and cold are still a marketing sensation, even in the dating industry.

Technically, Netflix and the cold are happening when your love interest ends for a love-making session and a Netflix watch session (both at the same time!).

Theoretically, it could mean anything, from binge eating on Netflix, to bonding on Netflix! 10 Most Frequently Used Thermal Marketing Keywords

# 5. ROI (Return on Investment)
Long ago, ROI was the phrase used by investment professionals and corporate honchos.

Fortunately, it spilled into the marketing world, and marketers made a killing with him. Drag the digital marketing blog in your browser and you will be very lucky not to find the acronym.

In addition to the buzz, ROI describes the efficiency and forecast of the financial returns of a marketing or campaign program.

# 6. Infographics
Marketers are always trying to create new content formats to encourage consumer engagement.

Infographics are one of the latest discoveries that really take off and, as a result, most of the information we consume today is presented in visual charts.

# 7. Leaders of Thought
No formal school offers courses in thinking leadership, but that does not mean we can not think of leaders.

It is a professional with an authoritative and influential view of certain things. This is a good thing, except for the fact that everyone who has hacked it into marketing or branding thinks they are leaders of thought.

# 8. Large data
The big data is the data science product (which is also a keyword).

Digital marketers use large data (large data volumes) to make day-to-day marketing decisions.

Just listen to marketers The term big data must be in the first 100 words they say!

# 9. SoLoMo
Because, who has time to say social media, local media and mobile apps in one sentence?

# 10. Toughness
Hyperlinks are everywhere, and sometimes internet users like to click on them. When a link attracts thousands (or millions) of clicks, marketers will tell you that this site has high clicks.

In other words, the link in question is a gateway for super-awesome content.

In conclusion …
You may cringe every time you see a keyword, but let’s face it: they will not go any time soon!

Sure, some will die naturally with time, but others – like viruses – have been immortalized by social media!

What do you think of this keyword? Any words or phrases you want to include in the list? Join us in the comments section!

10 Most Frequently Used Thermal Marketing Keywords

Not Sure How to Wear Your Masonic Ring? Here’s How

You’re a mason and you’re proud to be in such an honorary group of men. As a result, you probably have a masonic ring to show your pride and support in freemasonry.

But, have you heard different viewpoints on how you should wear your ring?

Who should you listen to?

It all depends on what you think and how your fellow masons wear theirs in the lodge.

As a diplomat of this age-old craft, you should be educated on what your wearing masonic ring represent.

Here’s your guide on the different ways of wearing your ring.

Pointing In
Pointing in is considered wearing your ring down towards yourself. This is probably the most common way of masons will wear their rings.

Masons choose to wear their rings pointing in because it reminds them of their obligations as Freemasons.

When the compass is pointing towards your heart, it helps to remind yourself of the life-long fraternity that you are a part of.

Some people believe you should wear your cell phone until you have served and earned your time.

Wearing your ring pointing in also means you are always welcome to receive the light from the compass until you are a Past Master of your lodge.

Pointing Out
Pointing out is considered wearing your ring up or out towards others. This way other people are able to tell what the symbols of your ring represents.

This way seems to be a way of wearing a mason ring, but it seems to be just as popular.

Many masons will wear them ring to show others that they are a mason and proud. This would make you an ambassador for Freemasonry.

For many, it represents to others how masons choose to live their life which is upright and on-level like the compass displayed. If asked what it means, it also becomes much easier to explain the design.

The choice is in your hands
As you can see these two different beliefs have been debated about forever. There really is no right or wrong way to wear your masonic ring.

In the end, all that matters is that you are reminded of their obligations and act upon them in all situations.

To be clear, there is no definitive answer for how you should wear your ring.

However you choose to wear your ring, you should always remember to stay in harmony with your choice by acting like a mason would.

If you’re still lost and new to a masonic ring, try wearing it pointing in your self towards you feel you have earned your time as a Past Master.

Once you reach this point, you can then wear your ring pointing out to showcase to others what it means to be a freemason.

As your last effort, you could always ask your lodgings about how they wear their rings. Sometimes there are guidelines to follow.

Hopefully, you’ve learned that all that matters is wearing your masonic ring with pride. Now it’s your turn to start thinking about how you like to wear your ring.

While people will have their opinion on which way is best, it ultimately comes down to you to decide.

Man vs Wildlife – Creating a Sustainable Society on Galapagos

Man vs Wildlife – Creating a Sustainable Society on Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are primarily known for their abundance of unique wildlife and as the place in which Charles Darwin’s conducted the research that led to his Theory of Evolution. For those who explore the area on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, a visit to this fragile, fascinating chain of islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; but for more than 25,000 people, the archipelago is home.
A Growing Population

 

Since the 1970s the population has increased greatly, with more than 75% of the current number having migrated from the mainland. Human occupation is restricted to an area that encompasses just 3% of the total land, with the vast majority living in the coastal towns on Santa Cruz, Floreana, San Cristobal and Isabela. A far smaller proportion (around 15%) lives in the more rural areas.

Most of the migration occurred for economic reasons, with a rapidly growing tourism industry and a declining standard of living on the Ecuadorian mainland. Before the implementation of the special immigration protocols in 1998, it was estimated that at the then-current rate, the population of the archipelago could double every decade. Since then, stricter controls have been put in place by the Ecuadorean government, which include a system of Transit Control Cards for all visitors coming into the area on Galapagos wildlife cruise itineraries.

Creating a Sustainable Society

Creating a sustainable society in a conservation area is not without its challenges, but the Conservancy of the islands is dedicated to the ongoing education of residents to “become champions of conservation”. The aim is to encourage locals to look at subsistence through a different lens to that of mainland living. Rather than trying to recreate a lifestyle that relies heavily on imported produce, machinery and techniques that are at odds with the environment, it encourages locals to consider themselves “stewards of the archipelago”, and live within a system more compatible with biodiverse preservation.

Education: the Key to the Future

Along with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Ministry of Education, the Conservancy is working towards education reform designed to foster a strong sense of values and engagement. Their focus is on demonstrating examples of “best practice” to teachers and administrators first, with a view to transferring this to classrooms.

Sustainable Practices in the Community

Another area in which the Conservancy is active is in increasing the capacity of sustainable agriculture throughout the archipelago, by demonstrating alternative methods of farming and environmental management.

Introduced domestic pets present a grave danger to the local wildlife; the Conservancy’s Humane Pet Management promotes responsible pet ownership and sterilisation in partnership with the Animal Balance organisation.

FUNDAR

The local Foundation for Responsible Alternative Development (FUNDAR) believes the establishment of a strong civil society is imperative to the base of any social change in the archipelago. “Citizens must act together with a common goal in order for change to happen.” While only a very small percentage of locals oppose the concept of sustainable development, in reality not much is understood about what it entails. They say it is an inter-generational process, which involves allowing residents to benefit in the “now”, but in a way that also assures that future generations can benefit too.

The Responsibility of All

While there is still some way to go until the region becomes a truly sustainable society, everybody who visits can do their part to ensure that the values are upheld. For anyone visiting on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, this means respecting the National Park Code of Conduct at all times and not doing anything to upset the balance of the ecosystem.

Life on Galapagos: The Invertebrates

Life on Galapagos: The Invertebrates

 

The unique flora and fauna of the Galapagos Archipelago attract nature lovers from all over the world to explore the region. The best way to do it is on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, which affords participants the opportunity to experience the astounding diversity of the island’s habitats and encounter a wide range of animals.
The mammals, reptiles, birds and marine animals of the archipelago are fairly well known by visitors, and many of the high-profile species can be seen on a Galapagos wildlife cruise. Surprisingly, though, the largest group of organisms is often overlooked.

 

The Invertebrates

Invertebrates have no backbone and are officially classified as animals that “neither possess nor develop a vertebral column”. They include insects, spiders, snails, worms, centipedes and many others. Like all the wildlife, this group had to arrive at the islands either on the ocean currents, with birds, or attached to vegetation or driftwood washed up on the shoreline.

The terrestrial invertebrates exist in every habitat and account for around 51% of the archipelago’s total biodiversity. While they may be small in size, they are absolutely crucial to the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Not only do they act as pollinators, they contribute to the formation of soils by recycling organic matter, and they also feature as an important link in the food chain as part of the diet for birds and small mammals.

The marine invertebrates include the molluscs, sponges, annelids (segmented marine worms), cnidarians (including corals), echinoderms (sea cucumbers and urchins) and many others.

Unique and Imbalanced

While many are still identical to their ancestors on the South American mainland, due to the remoteness of the region and the diversity of habitat just as many have adapted in order to survive. It’s estimated that around 52% of them are endemic. This means that some groups are represented in greater proportion than others, so they are considered to be “imbalanced”.

It is not known exactly how many invertebrate species are found throughout the archipelago, although in 2001 the number was estimated to be well over 2,000 (just for terrestrial ones), with the insects the most diverse and numerous. Some of the insects that may be seen on a Galapagos wildlife cruise include butterflies, dragonflies, moths, wasps, grasshoppers, spiders and flies.

Giant Snails and Colourful Crabs

The giant land snails are a distinctive group comprising around 60 species. They are similar to Darwin’s Finches in that they appear to have made specific adaptations to survive in particular habitats.

While most invertebrates don’t enjoy the glamorous status of some of the mammals and reptiles seen on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, one certainly attracts attention. The delightfully skittish Sally Lightfoot Crab can be seen scurrying between rocks on the shoreline, and its vibrant red and blue shell makes it a favourite with nature lovers.

While at first glance this group may not be as impressive as the Giant Tortoise or have the character of the quirky Blue-footed Booby, they are no less interesting and just as important to maintaining the status quo of archipelago’s ecosystem.