Although there are no dangerous animals on the islands, you do have to watch where you sit on the beach!
One of the remarkable things about the Seychelles is the diversity and uniqueness of the flora and fauna. There are a huge number of plant and animal species that are found only in these islands. It is in this way a lot like the Galapagos Islands, those remote islands in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru which were the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. It could easily have been the Seychelles that served as the catalyst for Darwin’s theories. On these 100 plus islands are found flightless birds, bug eating plants, the mythical Coco de Mer palm tree and giant Aldabra land tortoises which can weigh up to 150 kg and live for up to 200 years.
Before the arrival of humans, the Seychelles was an archipelago dominated by reptiles, birds and amphibians, as well as marine life and many different types of bugs. Humans were only the third species of mammal to set foot on the Seychelles Islands when they arrived for good in the 18th century. The only native species of mammals are two types of bats. The islands are reputed to be a birdwatchers paradise, where avid birdwatchers can tick off many
The Coco de Mer Palm Nut
Interesting shape isn't it!
new species on their list. My expert eye has confirmed that there are a lot of colourful birds around!
For thousands of years, no one knew the origins of the strangely shaped nuts resembling the female pelvis that occasionally washed up on the shores of India and Sri Lanka. It was finally discovered that they were the 20 kg seeds of the female Coco de Mer palm tree found on Praslin Island. The Coco de Mer palm has male and female varieties of the tree. When I get to Praslin in a few weeks, I’ll be sure to visit the world heritage site of Vallee de Mai where 4000 of these giant trees grow. For now, I had a chance to see the Coco de Mer and 30 other types of palm tree, Aldabra tortoises, huge fruit bats and much more at the Victoria Botanical Gardens which is a two minute walk from where I’m living.
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