Galapagos wildlife

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Galapagos Islands marine iguana


The marine iguana spends more time in the sun than other lizards, for it Is the only seafaring member of the Order; it may lose as much as 20 Deg F during its daily excursion into the water, and it takes much of the day to restore its body

Galapagos marine iguana
temperature to normal (about 96 Deg F) as well as to repay its oxygen debt.

The marine iguana is not a casual surface swimmer; it is a strong diver, descending to depths of 35 ft.

The dives are generally of brief duration (5-10 minutes) but if need be, the animal can slow its metabolism sufficiently to remain submerged for up to an hour.

Galapagos marine iguanas

Typically, the divers are the larger males, possessing the swimming strength to make ¡t through the breakers. The other members of the colony feed intertidally on the exposed lower portions of the rocks. Their diet consists almost exclusively of red or green algae-type seaweed.

The first impression of a marine iguana is not much improved when it appears to spit in your direction every so often.

Actually, the animal is sneezing, expelling the excess salt from its system through a special gland connected to the nostrils.

Yet another interesting adaptation, although for some people not a very pretty one to behold.

Galapagos Islands reptiles, land iguana
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