Marine Iguana

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The influence of macroalgae on the evolution of certain endemic fauna, particularly the marine iguana, has also yet to be investigated.
The marine iguana is in photo #2 and the land iguana is in photo #1.
Field energetics and food consumption of the Galapagos marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus.
Within an island, the larger a marine iguana, the more it suffered from declining foraging efficiency.
Prehistoric marine iguanas, which he dubbed "Imps of Darkness", lounged about in the warm sun, occasionally sneezing white crystals from their nasal salt glands, while slithery (and often smelly) sea lions basked on the beach.
It's a ravishing spectacle, but some sequences will be familiar to viewers, most notably dramatic footage from the Galapagos Islands of a young marine iguana emerging from hot sand and attempting to outrun dozens of deadly racer snakes.
We feel the terror of the marine iguana pursued by the racer snakes whom we have just witnessed choking the life out of its fellow lizards.
LEFT: the marine iguana, Amblyrhyncus cristatus, is particularly at risk from the volcanic activity on Fernandina, and many are washed up on beaches along the coast.
A June 2002 report found the slick's effects had been very damaging to the ecology - up to 62% of the marine iguana population on one island had been killed off.
He's found that marine iguana adults expend less than 10 percent of their daily energy diving for food.
The marine iguana, for example, not only has eagle-sharp claws for clinging to rocks but can swim 12 metres underwater for an hour on a single breath.

Full browser ?