The Galapagos Iguana is classified in 2 species: "Land Iguana" and "Marine Iguana".
Land Iguana: has kinship in the American continent, with some structural and genetic differences.
The most visible is its color.
While the Galapagos Land Iguana is yellowish brown to red, its continental relative is dark green to yellow.
Galapagos Land Iguana
Urbina Bay on Isabela Island (in Galapagos) is perhaps one of those locations where what is to be discovered is right at your feet: Land Iguanas!
Santa Fe has a unique kind on large land iguanas. The smaller ones are found in Fernandina, Isabela, South Plaza, and Santa Cruz.
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Lava Lizards: The Lava Lizard is well distributed in the Galapagos island wildlife. In most species you can tell the females from the red to orange necks. There are seven endemic species, and some are even endemic from Island to Island.
Don't be surprised to find incredible differences when you see the lizards of Espanola, and then the ones of Floreana. Some males can be as long as a foot! More About Galapagos Lava Lizards
Galapagos Marine Iguana
An early description of these Galapagos iguana reptiles can be quite revealing:"Imps of darkness".
With such name, no wonder the marine iguana is the most unusual and the largest of the Galapagos iguanas.
Endemic to the Islands, they are the only sea-going lizards in the world. In fact, there's nothing like them on the planet.
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It is not clear if marine iguanas arrived in the form of land iguanas or not.
But, in Galapagos an amazing realm of food supply was found underwater in the form of algae, and so an age-long redesign process in their morphology and physiology was needed.
That lets Galapagos iguana perform amazing functions, while holding amazing physical features.
They can dive down to 36 feet (12 m.), swim with great ease and stay submerged for up to an hour. There is also a great deal of variation amongst the several populations.
For instance, the smallest marine iguanas are found in Genovesa (Tower) Island, while the biggest ones occur on Isabela Island and Fernandina Island
The Galapagos iguanas with brightest colors (red and coppery green) are found on Espanola Island while the most inconspicuous ones are found in North Seymour.
The Galapagos Islands are a living museum of evolutionary changes. If you love nature and exotic animals (not seen anywhere else) then a trip to these Islands will live sparking memories in your mind for a lifetime.
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