Home Life Trends Marine Iguana - Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

Marine Iguana - Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

Marine Iguana facts and data. Know Marine Iguana weight loss program, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and so forth See attention-grabbing facts of Marine Iguana in our animal facts archive.

Scientific title: Amblyearhynchus cristatus
Scientific classification:
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Iguanidae

What does it appear to be? The marine iguana is a big, raveled wanting lizard. Fully grown males might be 1.three m lengthy and weigh as a lot as 1.5 kg. They are usually black or gray. Color may also fluctuate relying on the island on which they're discovered. In some places, the adults are brick crimson and black, whereas somewhere else they're crimson and darkish inexperienced, however primarily throughout the breeding season. The tail could be very lengthy, and the limbs are nicely developed with lengthy, curved claws. Along their again, the lizards even have a crest of spines giving them a fierce, dragonlike look.

Where does it dwell? The marine iguana is simply discovered on a number of the islands that make up the Galapagos archipelago. They are usually discovered on the rocky shoreline however often might be seen in areas of marshland and mangrove swamp.


During his expedition aboard the Beagle, Charles Darwin noticed and studied many creatures unknown to Europeans. The Galapagos had been a wealthy looking floor for his gathering forays, and on the wave-crushed shores of a number of the extra barren islands, he took notice of a peculiar lizard basking on the black volcanic rock. In Darwin’s eyes, this lizard—the marine iguana—was removed from being a looker. The younger naturalist described it as a “disgusting, clumsy lizard.” It’s honest to say the marine iguana shouldn't be the prettiest animal, however what it lacks in appears it greater than makes up for in character.

Large teams of these lizards bask on the wave lashed shore, their spiky our bodies nearly mixing into with rugged volcanic rock. Like all lizards, marine iguanas rely upon the solar for his or her heat. Before they'll seek for food, they need to bask within the solar’s rays till their physique temperature has risen sufficiently. With their muscle mass properly warmed, they'll set about foraging.

This is the place the similarity to different lizards ends, for that is the one lizard that may dwell and seek for food within the sea. Clumsily, they plunge from the rocks into the heavy swell. Once within the water, they're sleek animals, and with legs folded alongside their sides, they use their highly effective tails to swim via the water. The huge males can fairly simply dive 15 m to attain the succulent algae carpeting the rocky seabed.

They cling to the rocks with their sharp claws and graze the low-rising seaweed. Although the Galapagos Islands straddle the equator, the water fl owing round them is cool—the results of upwellings from the ocean depths. It doesn’t take too lengthy till the marine iguana begins feeling the chilliness, and in a state of chilly fatigue, it should floor and haul itself out onto the rocks.

This isn't any imply feat for a chilly-blooded animal. Out on the rocks, the iguana returns sluggishly to its territory and sprawls out beneath the warming solar. During its subaquatic forays, the iguana swallows various salt water with its food, and to stop any sick results, it should do away with this extra salt. It does this with using particular glands, the merchandise of that are sneezed from the nostrils. Following stint within the solar, the iguana might make one other foray into the water to get at its favourite seaweed.

These day by day forages for food and lengthy intervals of sunbathing are how the marine iguana spends its time. This absolutely makes it one of the devoted seashore bums within the animal kingdom.

Key Facts

  • Iguanas are among the many largest lizards and might be discovered around the globe in tropical and subtropical habitats. The marine iguana shares the Galapagos Islands with a detailed relative, the Galapagos land iguana.
  • The existence of these lizards within the Galapagos archipelago is one thing of a zoological conundrum. These islands are round 1,000 km from the west coast of Ecuador, however since they fashioned, 5-10 million years in the past they've been colonized by numerous animals, most of which have developed into distinctive species. How these animals and vegetation reached these distant volcanic islands is a bone of rivalry. One widespread principle is that rafts of vegetation torn from river banks by flood waters drifted out to sea, finally discovering landfall on the virgin Galapagos Islands. Among the floating vegetation, and in some way surviving the hardships of a really lengthy and arduous sea crossing, there have been land animals. Some of these would have been the ancestors of the marine iguanas we marvel at as we speak.
  • The undeniable fact that these lizards are basically marine demonstrates the facility of adaptation. Their ancestors would have been suited to consuming terrestrial vegetation, however over the eons, they step by step developed the flexibility to take to the ocean the place they might feast on the plentiful seaweeds rising within the nutrient-wealthy waters surrounding these islands.
  • The distinctive assemblage of animals and vegetation inhabiting the Galapagos Islands and the best way during which they fluctuate subtlety from island to island had been main inspirations that enabled Charles Darwin to formulate his principle of evolution.
  • Today, the Galapagos Islands have been acknowledged for his or her ecological significance. Most of the land and an unlimited swathe of surrounding ocean has been designated as a nationwide park, world heritage website, and biosphere reserve. The human inhabitants of the islands continues to develop massively, placing stress on the flora and fauna, particularly as nonnative animals have been launched.