Formed millions of years ago, the Seychelles have been host to buccaneers, eco-tourists and some of the most unique and remarkable animals on earth. This granite and coral archipelago has mangroves, mudflats, rocky shores and sandy beaches. These habitats are home to wide array of species.
Several distinct species of reptiles and amphibians reside on the Seychelles. The most well known is the Aldara Giant Tortoise, one of the largest tortoises on Earth. These naturally buoyant herbivores are excellent swimmers. The island has the largest population of these tortoises in the world. They are dark gray or black with the stocky legs supporting its weighty, high domed body. Some Giant Tortoises are thought to live for over one hundred years, but this has not been substantiated because the animals outlive the humans that observe them. Other unusual animals are the legless caecilians, a wormlike amphibian and the recently discovered endemic Seychelles palm frog
These tropical islands are also the breeding ground for several extraordinary species of birds. On the many islands that make up the archipelago, bird watchers will be amazed by paradise fly catchers, magpie-robins, kestrels
, swiflets, cuckoo-shrikes and the Black Parrot
, the country's national bird.
The Seychelles Islands are famous for coral reefs and the largest raised coral atoll in the world, the remote Aldabra Atoll. The islands support a large diversity of rare land species, marine life and vast colonies of seabird. In recognition of its biodiversity, the Seychelles have been listed as a natural World Heritage site by UNESCO.