What animals live in islands?

animals that live on islands or things that live on islands

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    To get to the island you have to be able to travel there. This means long distances in the air, in the ocean, or living on and among debris floating on the ocean such as a tree or piece of driftwood.

    This means that island are inhabited by three groups of animals....Those that are transient, thus they come and go, and those that are stranded and the third I will mention in a moment.

    To come and go as you please, you need to be able to fly well or you need to swim very well. Sea birds and seals fit the bill here as do many fish.

    To become a stranded inhabitant you need to be able to be carried long distances by storms or float long distances on driftwood.....also some fish may make there way there by accidental wandering that prefer shorelines but for some reason have wandered away from shore, such fish may stay if they make it to the island, thus becoming stranded.

    Animals carried in by storm or winds include birds that normally don't fly that way, or that far but get blown off course....The nene is an example as are the Galapagos finches, and Galapagos hawk....also insects of many varieties.

    Animals on floating debris the process is called rafting....usually include species that can survive for long periods of time on little food and water....thus reptiles are the most frequent rafters, but for shorter journeys, various rodents, and monkeys have made it to various islands. Examples are the Galapagos tortoises, Stick nest mouse, some of the Macaque monkeys on some of the pacific islands such as the black macaque. Reptiles make good rafters because they only require a fraction of the food of mammals, and their skin reduces water loss. Smaller animals make better rafters because a population can all fit on a single tree.

    The third type is the animals that were there when the island was separated from the mainland. Of course this only applies to islands that were once part of the mainland...The elephants and rhinos etc, of Borneo are an example....as are the lemurs of Madagascar, and the marsupials of Australia.

  • 9 years ago

    Due to their seclusion, ecosystems on islands are very limited in their niche (a fancy word for the interdependence/roles of different species)

    My favorite example are the Galapagos Islands, directly west of Ecuador. Charles Darwin was the first to notice that many of the same species lived on all of the islands, but never anywhere else. In fact, many animals from Galapagos have differences when going from island to island. This is because they adapted to their island's unique conditions, causing completely different ecosystems.

    Sorry for my rant, now back to the question. As said above, islands can consist of animal species truly their own. Good examples are the lemurs of Madagascar. There are many lemur subspecies, but all 'lemur' species are found, and only found, on Madagascar. So the answer really depends on which island is in question.

    A safe assumption is reptilian creatures such as snakes, turtles, and lizards. Insects and arachnids may also inhabit an island in significance. The most obvious answer are sea birds. As birds travel long mirgrational distances, they may perhaps take permanent or seasonal residence on an island. Seagulls, pelicans, etc. Sea lions and other aquatic creatures can also be seen near islands.

    I'm sorry if I wasn't specific enough, but there could be millions of answers. Generally look to smaller animals such as birds, reptiles, primates, and aquatic mammals. Hope this helped! ;)

    Source(s): Environmental Biology Major
  • Trudy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Usually birds or marine reptiles like marine iguanas, snakes. Things that have the ability to cross the water separating the island from the mainland.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago


Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.