The Wildlife of the Marine Iguana at Galapagos
One cannot miss looking at Galapagos tortoises if you are on vacation to Galapagos. There is no denying the fact that you will also watch the Marine Iguana second to the tortoises. You might be a fan of endemic species, and Galapagos is definitely a home to this particular archipelago. Every tourist is guaranteed to see a few thousands of them in the Galapagos Islands. To brief these marine Iguanas are large, clumsy and disgusting lizards. However, they are unique in many ways are quite fascinating to look at. Read below to know more about this crazy wild reptile.
Important Facts About The Marine Iguana
- They can hold their breath for about thirty minutes under the water.
- They are endemic to the Galapagos Islands.
- They are the one and only seagoing Iguanas in the whole world.
- During famine times, the marine Iguanas not only get thinner, but shorter too. But later when the famine recedes, they get back to their former weight and length.
Appearance of The Marine Iguana
The marine Iguana varies in colours ranging from grey to black. This is because dark shades help in heat absorption more. The male Iguana turns into the red with green tinges during the breeding season. The green hints are caused by the algae in their diet. The male is more significant than the female. When you compare with the land Iguana, these are smaller with short snout which helps in eating algae, long claws to fix to rocks in heavy currents and long flat tails natural to swim.
There are six subspecies in marine Iguana. The significant difference in these six subspecies is just the colour change of the male Iguana during the breeding season. Isabela and Fernandina have the more abundant species, and Genovesa has smallest species.
Food And Breeding
Scientists say the Iguanas arrived from Peru in floating sea vegetation. Both marine and land Iguana share common ancestors. Marine Iguanas eat the algae from the sea in the low tides. They get very cold. So after a long swim, they warm up under the sun. Breeding season is between November and January. Female Iguana lay eggs in burrows. Incubation is for 95 days, and a thousand eggs hatch simultaneously which is a beautiful site to see. You can see these pretty wild Marine Iguanas on almost every rock along the coastline in Galapagos.