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Marine Iguana

Amblyrhynchus cristatus

Marine Iguanas are a species of lizard that are found only on the Galápagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador. They are the only species of true marine lizard in the world. They have a unique ability to forage in the sea, diving to depths of up to 30 meters (100 feet) to feed on seaweed. They are large lizards, typically growing up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) in length, and they can weigh up to 11 kg (24 lbs). 

They have a robust and heavy build, with sharp claws, which help them grip rocks and climb in the intertidal zone. Their body is covered with dense, spiny scales, and the coloration varies depending on the subspecies, but typically is black, black-gray or greenish.

Marine Iguanas are found only on the Galápagos Islands, where they live in a wide range of habitats. They are most commonly found on rocky shores, where they can find food and shelter. They can also be found on sandy beaches, in the intertidal zone, and in mangrove swamps. 

They are adapted to living in harsh environments and are able to survive in areas with little fresh water.

Marine Iguanas are herbivorous and their diet consists primarily of red, green and brown algae. They feed by diving into the sea and foraging for seaweed. They can spend up to an hour submerged, diving to a depth of up to 30 meters (100 ft) to forage for food.

Marine iguanas have a fascinating behavior and a unique ability to forage in the sea, diving to depths of up to 30 meters (100 ft) to feed on seaweed. They are also adapted to the harsh environments of Galapagos, and able to survive with little water by conserving water in their bodies. 

They are also excellent swimmers, and use their strong tails to navigate in the water. They are social animals, often congregating in large groups to bask in the sun.

Marine Iguanas belong to the family Iguanidae, which is also known as the iguana family. They are the only species of marine iguana, and the scientific name for this species is Amblyrhynchus cristatus.

Marine Iguanas are classified as “vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List. The population of these lizards is facing threats due to habitat destruction, introduced predators, and environmental changes such as El Niño events and rising sea levels. Conservation measures are in place to help protect this species and its habitat, but more work is needed to ensure its long-term survival.

Marine Iguana Graphic
Photo by Meg Jerrard on Unsplash
Marine Iguana photo
Galapagos marine Iguana by kjorgen - Envato Elements
Galapagos Marine Iguana by estivillml - Envato Elements
Swimming Marine Iguana by jkraft5 - Envato Elements