Galapagos Marine Iguana, Española (Hood) Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, South America.
A Galapagos Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) basks at Suaraz Point, a wet landing on Española (Hood) Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, South America. The Marine Iguana is the world’s only sea-going lizard and is found only on the Galapagos Islands. They feed almost exclusively on marine algae, expelling excess salt from nasal glands while basking in the sun. Most adults are black, some grey, and the young have a lighter colored dorsal stripe. The somber tones allow the species to rapidly absorb the warm rays of the sun to minimize the period of lethargy after emerging from the frigid water, which is cooled by the Humboldt Current. Breeding-season adult males on the southern islands are the most colorful and will acquire reddish and teal-green colors, while Santa Cruz males are brick red and black, and Fernandina males are brick red and dull greenish. The iguanas living on the islands of Fernandina and Isabela (named for the famous rulers of Spain) are the largest found anywhere in the Galápagos. The smallest iguanas are found on Genovesa Island.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download