Galapagos wildlife

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Galapagos Islands land iguana


Land iguanas live in the drier areas of the islands and in the morning are found basking beneath the hot equatorial sun. During the midday heat, however, they seek the deep cool shade of cactus, rocks, trees or other vegetation.

Galapagos marine iguana

To conserve their body heat at night, they sleep in burrows that they dig in the ground.

Land iguanas are very flexible in their diet (omnivores) but generally depend on low-growing plants and shrubs, as well as the fallen fruits and pads of cactus trees.

Galapagos land iguana

The cactus provides both food and water to the land iguana, who, living in the drier parts of the archipelago, goes without fresh water for much of the year.

Part of the adaptation to the drier environment is the conservation of energy.

While capable of great speed (especially during the courtship season, when amorous and aggressive chases take place),

these 3 ft long creatures typically move quite slowly, and give the appearance of being lazy, as Darwin hinted at in his comments above.

Land iguanas are burrowing animals, and their shallow tunnels provide shelter at night, shade from the sun, a nesting place, and a temporary home for the hatchlings.

Galapagos Islands reptiles, lava lizard
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