Origin of Española Island and the Age of Terrestrial Life on the Galápagos Islands

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Science  05 Aug 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4610, pp. 545-547
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4610.545


Geological studies of Española (Hood) Island, Galápagos, Ecuador, indicate that the island had a subaerial rather than a submarine origin. Because the younger lava flows are dated at 3 million years, Española has apparently existed as an island for at least that long. Thus terrestrial life may have existed or arrived on the Galápagos Islands at least 3 million years ago, more than twice as long as had been assumed.