An amazing array of endemic species
Coco de Mer
Seychelles is a living museum of natural history and a sanctuary for some of the rarest species of flora & fauna on earth.
With almost 50% of its limited landmass set aside as national parks and reserves, Seychelles prides itself on its record for far sighted conservation policies that have resulted in an enviable degree of protection for the environment and the varied ecosystems it supports.
Nowhere else on earth will you find unique
endemic specimens such as the fabulous
Coco-de-mer, the largest seed in the world,
the jellyfish tree, with only eight surviving
examples, the Seychelles’ paradise
flycatcher and Seychelles warbler.
The islands also boast some of the most
spectacular seabird colonies in the world,
where there are 13 species and 17
subspecies that occur here and only here.
Perhaps though it is the coco de mer palms that have the greatest allure. Found only in Seychelles, where they grow naturally on the islands of Praslin and Curieuse, the coco de mer is arguably Seychelles’ most potent icon, and unquestionably, its best ambassador to the more amorous traveller.
This rare and wondrous specimen was long thought
to be an underwater tree whose nuts, occasionally washed up on the beaches of far away kingdoms, represented all that is magical about the islands’ beguiling charm.
From the smallest frog to the heaviest land
tortoise and the only flightless bird of the Indian
Ocean, Seychelles nurtures an amazing
array of endemic species within
surrounds of exceptional natural beauty.
Vallée de Mai
Seychelles is also home to two U.N.E.S.C.O World Heritage Sites: Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll and Praslin’s Vallée de Mai, once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden.
Read more about:
- Fishes of Seychelles
- the National parks, Marine Parks, Botanical gardens and Nature trails in Seychelles
- Unesco sites in Seychelles
(This external link may sometimes be down).
Additional information about fauna and flora in each Seychelles Island may be found here.
See pictures of Coco de Mer:
-- picture of coco de mer (nut)
-- Male Coco de Mer inflorescence
See pictures from Seychelles tortoises:
-- land giant tortoise
-- another land giant tortoise
-- sea turtle
-- hawksbill sea turtle.
Find pictures from birds in Seychelles:
-- Fairy Tern
-- Magpie Robin
-- Seychelles Sunbird
-- Red Fody
Garden of Eden
Seychelles spawned many stories, legends and claims, none more entrancing than that of the Garden of Eden. General Gordon, who met his skewered fate at Khartoum, first opined that the island of Praslin and its Vallée de Mai, a primeval forest where the magical coco de mer palm grows in abundance, was the true location of the biblical paradise found at the core of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
He based his claim partly on the fact that the Seychelles were the most ancient mid-ocean islands in the world, the highest peaks of the submerged remnants of Gondwana. But his theory also stemmed from his belief that the coco de mer was the Tree of Knowledge. Certainly, the distinctly feminine curves of the coco de mer’s kernel would have planted the term ‘forbidden fruit’ in the mind of many a prude.
The Vallée de Mai, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has never lost its mysterious romantic allure and is one of Praslin’s main attractions. The damp, primeval atmosphere that lingers beneath the forest canopy represents the epitome of untouched, natural beauty and maybe even a clue to the very origins of man.
See here large pictures of Seychelles fauna and flora.
Source: Seychelles Tourism Board
All pictures above © Seychelles Tourism Board
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