Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Marine Iguanas

Many of the species on the Galapagos Islands are endemic, meaning they can only be found on the islands.  Animals from all over the world ended up on the islands and adapted to the unique habitat over hundreds of thousands of years developing special abilities only seen in the Galapagos like the Flightless Cormorant and the Marine Iguanas.  The Marine Iguanas adapted to be able to swim in the ocean and eat the algae that grows on rocks on the bottom of the ocean.  They are amazing animals to see in the wild, but in fact are quite ugly and Darwin went so far as to call them 'disgusting clumsy lizards...I call them imps of darkness.'  They are only found on the Galapagos Islands and are considered endangered.  When visiting the Galapagos you see them everywhere and it can be hard to believe that they are endangered, but they in fact face a severe threat from invading exotic species like cats and dogs that will kill the iguanas.  Like most animals on the Galapagos they have no fear and are not adapted well to evade predators.  They can be seen on many of the islands and there are a couple of different species on the different islands with different coloration.  They group together in the mornings and it is interesting to see them in a big pile of tails and scales.  They are quite small when they are young- no bigger than my hand, but can reach very large sizes of over 5 feet!  They are a very unique animal and very cool to watch swim in the water!

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Marine Iguanas in Galapagos from Rebecca Yale on Vimeo.

1 comments:

mina said...

i love these photos. such a pretty bokeh. we took a million pictures of these guys.

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