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Marine iguana

Marine iguana sunbathing

The marine iguana is the only one of its species, it is biologically closer to the land iguanas of the Galapagos Island.

The marine iguana lives on the island of Galapagos, in the Ecuadorian archipelago. It feeds only on the seaweed available on the island.

The males can swim over the sea to feed on the algae, because they are larger in size, which makes it easier for the iguana to swim, but the females and baby marine iguanas must feed on the shore, under the tide, because the waves and their small size do not allow them to swim freely.

Note that this type of iguana is not used as a pet in homes, as they live in a natural state. You couldn't buy an iguana of this kind around the corner anyway.

Marine iguanas Main Characteristics

Male and female marine iguanas

Males are generally twice the size of females at 1.3 meters in length and weigh about 15 kilos.

They spend all their time in two activities, feeding and sunbathing. Since the water temperature on Galapagos Island is so high, they need many hours of sunshine a day to keep warm.

Curiously, the iguana's evolutionary advantage in this respect is in the black or dark color of its skin, which allows it to quickly absorb the sun's rays.

In order not to cool down to the danger of death while swimming in the icy waters, the marine iguana has the particularity of slowing down and even stopping its heart, limiting the pumping of blood and sustaining its body temperature for longer.

Predators of the Marine iguana

Swimming marine iguana

Because its habitat has no large predators, the male marine iguana has no predator, as there is no animal large enough on the island of Galapagos to eat it.

It is different with female iguanas and baby marine iguanas, which because of their smaller size can be victims of hawks and snakes.

Be sure to look at some of the other reptiles we have for you