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Marine Iguana

There comes a time in everyone’s lives where you just wish there was an iguana that could swim underwater.  Well folks, it isn’t just a dream.  The marine iguana loves the water and feeds on aquatic vegetation. They are only found in the Galapagos islands, so I’m sure they will become great friends with our Galapagos penguins.  Marine iguanas are not very cute.  In fact, Charles Darwin was especially appalled by them.  While studying evolution in the Galapagos Chuck wrote:

“The black Lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large (2-3 ft), disgusting clumsy Lizards. They are as black as the porous rocks over which they crawl & seek their prey from the Sea. I call them ‘imps of darkness.” -Charles Darwin

Okay so maybe they are not the most beautiful creature, but there attractive in their own way right?  When they aren’t hunting for food at the bottom of the ocean they can be found basking in the sun on rocks near the ocean.  Unlike most reptiles, they have adapted to handle the unforgiving ocean water.  One such adaptation is the nasal gland.  Marine iguanas have two nasal glands that shoot out any salt that was consumed while feeding on the ocean floor.  They are not yet extinct so we don’t have to worry about that, but we might have to take a little trip down to the Galapagos if we want to get one.

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