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Marine Iguana

on October 5, 2012; last updated October 5, 2012
Aquarium Guide - Mini

Being a cold-blooded creature, the marine iguana can spend only a limited time in the cold water surrounding the Galapagos Islands to find its food.

Design

Marine Iguana

Being a cold-blooded creature, the marine iguana can spend only a limited time in the cold water surrounding the Galapagos Islands to find its food. After a dive the marine iguana will bask in the sun to raise its body temperature. Another interesting feature of this creature is its ability to excrete concentrated salt crystals from its nasal glands to rid itself of excess salt it consumed while eating algae underwater. These designs are part of the Creator’s provision for His creation.

Features

  • The marine iguana is usually gray to black in color; but on a few islands this creature may vary in color from shades of red to shades of green.
  • It also has a blunt snout and slightly compressed tail.

Fun Facts

  • The size of marine iguanas varies from island to island within the Galapagos group.
  • It can make a single dive up to 50 ft (15 m) and stay underwater for up to an hour.
  • The marine iguana is an herbivore and feeds exclusively on algae.
  • It “sneezes” to remove excess salt from its body.
  • The marine iguana is threatened by introduced predators (dogs and cats) to the Galapagos.

CLASS: Reptilia (reptiles)
ORDER: Squamata (amphisbaenians, lizards, and snakes)
FAMILY: Iguanidae (iguanas)
GENUS/SPECIES: Amblyrhynchus cristatus

Size: Male 4.5 ft (1.4 m); female 2 ft (0.6 m)
Weight: Males weigh up to 3 lbs (1.4 kg)
Diet: Algae
Habitat: The Galapagos Islands, 600 miles west of Ecuador, South America

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