• A view of the cinder desert

    Haleakalā

    National Park Hawai'i

Wind, Wings, and Waves

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Across vast expanses of ocean, life eventually came to the barren volcanic islands in the form of seeds, spores, insects, spiders, birds, and small plants.

 
They drifted on the wind, floated on the ocean currents or hitched a ride on migrating or storm-driven birds. Many groups of organisms (amphibians, reptiles, social insects, and almost all land mammals) were unable to make the long journey, while some arrived but did not survive in their new home. It is estimated that an average of only one species every 35,000 years successfully colonized the islands.

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