These penguins came within a foot of our little boat (making me probably about 2.5 feet away from them at one point... I could have touched them if I tried). They were merrily playing with one another, rather oblivious to our presence, or at least seemingly. They could have decided it would be fun to play near the thing carrying all those strange upright noise makers. Animals in the Galapagos are notorious for their tameness, and it really isn't a lie. For almost every species we encountered, at least one individual would come close enough for contact, whether out of obvious curiosity and playfulness, such as with the young sea lions we played with while we snorkeled, or because they simple didn't care that we were around, and they had no reason to inhibit themselves from getting closer (or allowing us to get closer). Now, it's certainly mythical to say that all species in the Galapagos are like this, as the smaller organisms are definitely subject to predation, as they would be in any environment, and so things like crabs, small birds, and even some of the marine iguanas are a little skiddish at times, but that didn't stop me from getting within a hands reach of each of these species as well (for the crabs you actually have to be a little sneaky). By the way, this species is the northern most representative of the penguin radiation, and with this being the equator, it would appears as though they occupy the pinnacle of tropical environments. In actuality, these penguins are still sensitive to warm temperatures and can only survive in the Galapagos due to the cold waters brought by the Humboldt current from the southeast and the upwelling of deep colder water from the Cromwell current. In fact, during El Niño season when the waters in region warm considerably, many of the penguins postpone breeding until the next year, as there's no longer enough food to risk to energy intensive process of producing and caring for young. So, life here is not necessarily easy, but they've already gained many behavioral adaptations, such as panting, hiding body parts that absorb heat, staying in the cool waters during the day, and keeping their eggs and chicks in the shadows of lava rock crevices. Regardless of these evolutionary adaptations, they've been no match for recent human invasion, and are currently the most endangered species of penguin in the world with only 1,500 individuals left. And global warming isn't making it any easier (and unlike the case for other animals, migrating to other locations that fit a more appropriate temperature is not a possibility when there are no more islands for hundreds or thousands of miles).