Pinta | Galapagos Island

Pinta Island - Galapagos

Galapagos Islands protected area birthplace of late lonesome George

Pinta, also known as Abington Island, is an elongate shield rising from a northwest trending submarine ridge. The summit, at 850 m elevation, has a small collapse pit, but no caldera is present. The island has steep slopes, which may be due to faulting. Pinta appears to have had a two-stage development: a shield stage, which began more than 800,000 years ago, and a younger fissure stage. The latter has produced many young lavas and cinder cones at the northern and southern ends of the island. There has been one recorded eruption in the past century.

Many of the lavas erupted during the shield stage have very abundant large white crystals of plagioclase. While plagioclase is common in basaltic lavas, the remarkable abundance and size of these crystals are extremely unusual. Rocks such as these have been given the name “abingtonite”, after the island. Abingtonites are occasionally found elsewhere in the Galapagos, particularly on neighboring northern islands. Plagioclase is often lighter than basaltic magmas from which they crystallize. The formation of abingtonites most likely involves the concentration of plagioclase in the tops of magma chambers through floatation.

Most Galapagos Islands magmas seem to be derived from a mixture of material from the Galapagos mantle plume and ambient upper mantle. Geochemically, Pinta magmas represent the northern extreme of the range of compositions observed in the Galapagos, indicating they are derived mostly from the Galapagos mantle plume. This contrasts with magmas from neighboring Marchena and Genovesa, which are derived mostly from the ambient upper mantle.

Pinta once had a thriving tortoise population, but the population was decimated by whalers and fishermen. The introduction of goats to the island by fishermen in 1958 may have been the last straw. At present, there’s no more giant tortoise population; until 2012, there was only one surviving member of this race, a male named "Lonesome George," who was held at the Darwin Research Station. For years, it was hoped a mate of the same race could be found for "Lonesome George". When that was given up, several females, related in the sense that they were "saddlebacks" but nevertheless of different races, were placed in George’s pen, but George showed little interest in mating despite the efforts. On June 24, 2012, the Ecuadorian Government announced that "Lonesome George" had been declared dead, finishing with the population and the species of Pinta’s Giant Tortoises.

Pinta Island Climate

As the whole archipelago's climate is conditioned to the Season of the year, be it the Warm Season or the Cold Season, the beauty and biodiversity of the island are ready to be explored. The Warm season has warmer temperatures, sunnier days, clear blue skies, and is perfect for outdoor activities. The Cold season has more activities related to wildlife observation; this period experiences occasional rainfall and slightly cooler temperatures. The temperatures oscillate from 76 to 86 °F in the Warm season and from 66 to 79 °F in the Cold Season. If you want more information about the Galapagos climate, you can visit our page or contact us.

Galapagos travel

Recommended cruise tours that visit Pinta Island

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