Shambu recently came across some marine iguanas on his adventures in the Galapagos Islands. Read more about them here!
Scientists believe that millions of years ago, land-dwelling iguanas from South America drifted to sea on marine litter and eventually reached Galapagos. There they evolved into marine iguanas and spread over the entire archipelago.
They are the only sea-going lizards in the world and they can remain submerged for about 10 minutes at a time!
They are about 0.6 to 1.5 meters long. That is about 4 to 10 average-sized ball pens placed one after another.
Even though they look scary and a bit dangerous, these iguanas are actually herbivores that feed on underwater algae and seaweed.
When there is a shortage of food, the iguanas not only become thinner but also shorter. Scientists have discovered that iguanas can grow back to their normal size when their food supply increases.
Their dark grey colour helps absorb sunlight and after they collect enough energy they go swimming in the cold Galapagos waters.
They sneeze quite frequently to remove extra salt that they consume while eating.
These iguanas are found only on the Galapagos Islands. And even though they are called marine iguanas, they are amphibians.