The Galapagos Islands are of some commercial importance to Ecuador, on account of the guano and the orchilla moss found on them and exported to Europe.
The origin and development of these conditions, in islands so distinctly oceanic as the Galapagos, have given its chief importance to this archipelago since it was visited by Darwin in the "Beagle."
The Galapagos archipelago possesses a rare advantage from its isolated situation, and from the fact that its history has never been interfered with by any aborigines of the human race.
"Nearly all authorities agree that it is not probable that they have crossed the wide sea between the Galapagos Islands and the American continent, although, while they are helpless, and quite unable to swim, they can float on the water.
If their ancestors had been carried out to sea once or twice by a flood and safely drifted as far as the Galapagos Islands" (Wallace), "they must have been numerous on the continent" (Rothschild and Hartert).