Islands are fascinating and meeting places between sea and land.
The Islands date back to million of years , scattered all across the oceans of the world , one time a flowing molten lava and over thousands of years have become a lush tropical ones .
The wonders of Island life remind us without doubt that the earth in itself is an Island flooded with resplendent plants animals and unique birds ,seas, mountains ,rivers and what not.
Origin of Islands
Islands have evolved in two ways , Continental Islands and the Oceanic Islands.
The Continental Islands are the land part of the Continental mainland, cut over the years either through erosion or due to geological forces leading to major upheavals in the surface structure of the earth .
Oceanic Islands are formed where molten rocks pile upon the lava flow upon lava flow and build volcanic mountain.
This phenomenon takes thousands of years ,before the mountain growing to a such a height thus breaking from the ocean surface.
The volcanic islands get exposed to wind weather waves and rain .
The off shore coral reefs form a barrier against the crashing sea waves that could limit the life span of the volcanic islands.
The Continents have shifted continuously in a slow way and this phenomenon still continues unabated.
Over 200 million years ago as geologists believe all the land on earth was a great one mass called Pangaea.
Later after some million years the dry land split into two super continents; Gondwanaland ,which is todays South America ,Africa, India ,Australia and Antartica; the other Laurasia ; consisting of North America ,Greenland ,Europe, and Asia .
It is humanly impossible to know or assess how many islands have been on the broad surface of this earth to be eroded away or to have been washed away in its bosom by the rising seas.
Life on Islands.
Every island as a result of evolutionary process develops its own organisms and life sets its foothold .
Whenever man settles in an island ,he has brought with himself food, plants, pets like dogs .
The Continental islands support a community of living things when they are separated from the mainland. But the colonisers bring other species from elsewhere and the evolutionary mechanism gives rise to unique plants and animals ,thus setting meteor of life for more environmental changes with the passage of times.
The Oceanic islands are sterile and devoid of any life on its rugged surface.
The surface life of plants and animals emerges only through settlers from other islands.
The plants and animals that reach an island have to survive against the environmental odds and ends thereby gaining access to new breeding sites . The organism manage to ross over the oceans and settle permanently in the scattered odd number of islands.
The plants that survive on arrival are Algae, lichens, fungi, mosses ,ferns.
The birds fly out in seas to make nests on the vegetated cliffs and in the dense plant vegetation and thus survive the new hazards.
The other animals like lizards, bats, land snails ,spiders carry themselves successfully in the ocean voyages.
Though spiders do not fly but it is common to see them weaving strands of fine webs and move like parchutes with the breeze that carry the spiderlings far aloft.
Nature works its way for every one in this beautiful universe. Only the beholder should be alert to see and feel the impact of the beauty around .
The scientist writer Thomas Huxley in his famous essay
“ Life Growth Change “ has demonstrated that animals evolve unusual adaptations in relation to the physical environment . For instance if an animal is transformed from Iceland to a desert of intense heat, the animal adapts slowly to the changed Circumtances and in the successive generations they become completely different from their ancestral breeds.
The largest lizard ,the 9ft komado dragon found only
In Indonesian island of Komado , preys on monkeys and deer.
The 4 inch long mouse Lemurs of Madagascar island are the smallest of all primates, also the most primitive. Lemurs hide in the foliage and come out in night to feed o insects
A unique Parrot lives in the islands of West Indies. This red-necked parrot lives in the mountains forests of Dominica.
The Caribbean islands exhibit lush islands numbering 700 ,stretching from Florida to South America. A few are Continental in origin but majority of these are of volcanic and the volcanoes that formed them are extinct now.
The Caribbean with total land of 91000 square miles ,the many islands of West Indies are spread over 971,400 square miles of open ocean.
The islands of Philippine archipelago are without human settlement. The larger islands are mountainous with 20,000 mile shoreline ,with extreme weather of humid warmth at sea level, to the chill of 9000ft high, Philippines is home to variety of beautiful plants and animals.
Island life is a manifestation of diversity and uniqueness in character. The bizarre kinds of plants animals and their habitations make islands fascinatingly charming abodes of beauty.