Marine Iguana


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Marine Iguana

 

(Amblyrhynchus cristatus) a reptile of the family Iguanidae. The body length of the male measures up to 140 cm; the females are much smaller. The head is rounded, and the trunk massive. The tail is laterally compressed and resembles an oar. The digits are joined by a short web. There is a crest of elongated, sharp scales along the back and tail. The color of the male is usually dark brown, gray, or brown-red on top and yellowish brown below; the females are lighter. The marine iguana, along with the Galapagos land iguana, the great land tortoise, and some other reptiles, is indigenous to the Galapagos Islands. It inhabits the rocky (basaltic) shores close to the tide line. The reptile spends a considerable time in the water, since it swims easily and rapidly. Its food consists of marine algae. The marine iguana is the only extant lizard that obtains its food in the sea. The female deposits one to three eggs in a burrow. Polygamy is characteristic of marine iguanas. During the reproductive period, which is in January, the animals settle in convenient areas of the shore in small groups of two to ten adult females, a number of young individuals, and one male, who does not allow the intrusion of other males into his area.

I. S. DAREVSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
They have been observed engaging in a variety of unusual feeding behaviors including picking ticks off of marine iguanas (Carpenter 1966, Christian 1980), drinking blood from open sores (Christian 1980, Curry and Anderson 1987), picking at sea lion teeth (Trimble 1976), kleptoparasitizing from centipedes (Curry 1986), and eating seabird eggs (Hatch 1965, Harris 1968, Bowman and Carter 1971).
Body size and sexual size dimorphism in Marine iguanas fluctuate as a result of opposing natural and sexual selection: an island comparison.
The archipelago lies at the convergence of several major ocean currents, which allows a diverse and unique set of ecosystems to coexist -- from penguins to marine iguanas to corals.
In the last couple of years scientists have realized that marine iguanas are doing something once thought impossible in the natural world: When their food source is particularly low, the animals shrink, sometimes as much as 20 percent of their body length.
Marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands are the first vertebrates shown to shorten and then regrow, say researchers in the United States and Germany.
A short walk around the islet and there were hundreds of lava lizards and marine iguanas, while a peak over the edge revealed white-tipped reef sharks cruising around the shallows.
Only in Ecuador can a traveller climb the tallest active volcano in the world, kayak the rapids of the Amazon rainforest, crisscross the Equatorial line on horseback, surf tropical Pacific swells along a Pre-Incan archaeological site, and swim with penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions and harmless whale sharks in one trip.
Marine iguanas emerge from the cyan sea and crawl past, leaving decorative tracks--a line from their tails between alternating footprints.
You're likely to see flamingos and green sea turtles, flightless cormorants, bright marine iguanas, Espanola lava lizards, hood mockingbirds, swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, redbilled tropicbirds, Galapagos hawks, Darwin's finches, waved albatross and even penguins, dolphins, shark and whales.
The giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies and Galapagos have, of course, nAttenborough marine iguanas of the Gae gua as o t e MAKING DAVID ATTENBOROUGH'S GALAPAGOS & DAVID ATTENBOROUGH'S GALAPAGOS Sky 1 and Sky 1 HD, 2pm and 7pm been showcased in countless other natural history programmes.
The giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas of the Galapagos have, of course, been showcased in countless other natural history programmes.
Only a few species live in the water, and even fewer, like marine iguanas and sea kraits, live in the oceans.

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