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Marine Iguana Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador (2005).<br />
The marine iguana lives on land but feeds in the sea, grazing on a variety of seaweed &ndash; on exposed rocks, in subtidal areas, or by diving deeper into the cold seawater. This habit, totally unique in iguanas and in fact all lizard species of the world, provides them with an abundant food source. However, they cannot withstand the cold temperatures of the sea for too long and must pull out on land to warm up.        Amblyrhynchus cristatus,Ecuador,Geotagged,Marine iguana,Spring Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Marine Iguana

Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador (2005).
The marine iguana lives on land but feeds in the sea, grazing on a variety of seaweed – on exposed rocks, in subtidal areas, or by diving deeper into the cold seawater. This habit, totally unique in iguanas and in fact all lizard species of the world, provides them with an abundant food source. However, they cannot withstand the cold temperatures of the sea for too long and must pull out on land to warm up.

    comments (9)

  1. Fabulous, this photo really embodies Galapagos! Posted 2 years ago
    1. Hehe! Those you cannot tell you did not see if you visit these islands. They are all over and some have very beautiful red colors due to the algae they eat :-) Posted 2 years ago
  2. I love the aspect of this, makes it look huge, like Godzilla! Posted 2 years ago
  3. From today's Facebook post:

    The impressive Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) is the only lizard on Earth with the ability to forage at sea. They are endemic to the Galápagos Islands, where they forage for algae in the intertidal zone. They have a stocky build with short, powerful limbs, spiky dorsal scales, and a salt-encrusted head. Adult males can reach as long as 1.3 meters (over 4 feet) from snout to tail! Even Charles Darwin found them fascinating, although he wrote that they were "disgusting, clumsy lizards" and referred to them as "imps of darkness". To each his own, I suppose.

    As ectothermic animals, marine iguanas can only spend so much time in the cold waters that surround the Galápagos Islands before needing to warm up. The iguana's heart rate slows to half its normal pace in order to conserve energy while feeding. Eventually, their muscles become less efficient, and when they can tolerate it no longer, they emerge from the cold waters to bask in the sun on rocks. Their dark colors help them to warm up quickly, but they are very vulnerable to predators while they wait for their body temperature to regulate. As a clever ploy, the iguanas make aggressive noises and biting gestures while warming up—the perfect bluff to warn off predators.

    By feeding in the ocean, marine iguanas ingest a high amount of salt from their food. To deal with its high-salt diet, they have cranial salt glands, which excrete most of the salts ingested. With appropriate drama, they forcefully expel the salts through their noses via a projectile sneeze! What these creatures may lack in looks, they certainly make up for with their fantastic adaptations. {Spotted in the Galápagos, Ecuador by JungleDragon moderator, Patomarazul} #JungleDragon
    Posted 3 months ago
    1. Thank you so much! :-) Posted 3 months ago
  4. EPIC! Posted 3 months ago
    1. Yeah, this creature is so cool, and Marta captured it perfectly!! Posted 3 months ago
      1. Thanks to both of you ;-) Posted 3 months ago
  5. So cool! I'm so jealous! Posted 3 months ago

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The marine iguana is an iguana located only on the Galápagos Islands that has the ability, unique among modern lizards, to live and forage in the sea, making it a marine reptile. The iguana can dive over 30 ft into the water. It has spread to all the islands in the archipelago, and is sometimes called the Galápagos marine iguana. It mainly lives on the rocky Galápagos shore, but can also be spotted in marshes and mangrove beaches.

Similar species: Scaled Reptiles
Species identified by Patomarazul
View Patomarazul's profile

By Patomarazul

All rights reserved
Uploaded Jul 16, 2016. Captured Nov 30, -0001 00:00 in Unnamed Road, Ecuador.
  • C5060WZ
  • f/4.8
  • 10/5000s
  • ISO116
  • 22.9mm