Marine Iguana Facts
- Most notably, the remarkable Marine Iguana constitutes a very special species. This holds true because, to our knowledge, it remains the only lizard in the world able to live and forage in the ocean.
- This, therefore, makes it the only known marine reptile on earth. Plus, look at this face. Does it remind you of Khaleesi’s dragons in Game of Thrones? One might almost believe that it’s a distant cousin.
- Adding to its dragon resemblance, is yet another factor. This astonishing creature primarily dwells on the rugged shore. However, individuals will sometimes visit marshes and mangrove beaches.
- Finally, the Marine Iguana separates itself from other lizards in a remarkable way. This magnificent reptile is entirely herbivorous. Further, it feeds exclusively almost on underwater seaweed.
Marine Iguana Physical Description
First of all, in color, the Marine Iguana generally presents various shades of gray or black. But, it also displays yet another unusual trait. Because of this fact, the animal sometimes display other colors.
In addition, the unique animal actually varies in average size from island to island. This trait remains unique. However, a general average size is roughly 5.6 ft (1.7 m) in length and 26 lbs (12 kg) in weight.
Furthermore, it has remarkably sharp teeth for a herbivore. It also evolved a rather flat snout. Finally, it even has a one-of-a-kind nasal gland. This serves to filter excess salt, which it expels through its nostrils.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Varanidae
- Genus: Varanus
- Species: V. komodoensis
Marine Iguana Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Firstly, the bizarre Marine Iguana exists in the wild only on the Galapagos Islands, themselves a marvel of Nature. While not physically connected, of course, these form part of the country of Ecuador, in South America.
As a herbivore, its flat snout and sharp teeth allow it to feed on algae growing on rocks when it so chooses. The fascinating animal also has the ability to dive to depths as great as 30 feet (10 m).
After diving in the rather cold water to feed, it will bask in the sun on the rocky shoreline for long. But, at this time, it becomes extremely defensive. As a result, it will strike at any approaching creature.
Finally, during breeding season the males assemble large herds of females. These the male aggressively guards from rivals. Violent encounters at this point are rare, however. Typically, such fights consist of no more than head-bobbing and head-butting.