Seychelles beasts and plants
There are plenty of birds and bats in the Seychelles, some of them found only in the Seychelles; and plenty of fish, whales, turtles, and other sea creatures. On land, there are giant tortoises, various lizards and frogs, burrowing caecilians, and a few harmless snakes, but anything else was probably imported by man. There is, after all, a lot of ocean between these islands and anywhere else.
The giant tortoises were hunted to extinction on the main islands, but a slightly different species has since been reintroduced from the remote island of Aldabra. The crocodiles that originally populated the main islands were also hunted to extinction; but, for some reason, not reintroduced.
There are about 3,500 species of insects in the Seychelles, most of them unique to the Seychelles; but they're not as troublesome as in some tropical countries. The mosquitoes, for instance, are not malarial, and I didn't notice any during my stay. Maybe they're more apparent in the rainy season.
The American cockroach is quite common, but was imported by man. I found one of these in my room one night; it moved too fast for me, but in the morning I saw it again and managed to hit it with a shoe. I found no other unwanted roommates during the whole of my stay, which is quite remarkable in a tropical country.
Large palm spiders are common: their huge webs often hang over footpaths. The females may be up to ten centimetres across, but are harmless. Tarantulas and wolf spiders don't make webs: they bite, and should be treated with caution, but I didn't notice any. Nor did I see any scorpions (rare except on Frégate) or poisonous centipedes (these are all nocturnal).
The islands originally had a lot of unique trees, but so many of them were cut down for shipbuilding that the original character of the forests has been lost. The present forests are a mixture of native and imported trees. Common imported trees include bougainvillaea, hibiscus, frangipani, and cinnamon.
There are various native and unique species of trees and flowers. The Seychellois are particularly proud of the coco-de-mer tree, which is native to only two islands (Praslin and Curieuse). This is a tall palm which may grow up to thirty metres high, but slowly. After growing for 25 years, the female tree starts to produce large nuts, which take 7 years to mature, reaching a weight of 9 to 18 kg (depending on which book you believe). Neither the trees nor the nuts are particularly useful, but they're unusual in appearance and have given rise to various superstitions.
Many fruit trees grow in the Seychelles, so the hotels can offer a wide selection of fresh tropical fruits.