The Galapagos Lava Lizard has stunnig bright colors and is the most abundant reptile in the Galapagos Islands.
They belong to the Tropidurus genus and there are seven species of these reptiles in the Islands. These species are:
One particular characteristic about lava lizards is that (as most Galapagos animals) they are not afraid of humans and can be observed closely.
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The color of lava lizards is beautiful and eye-catching and it depends on its location, sex and age. The colors may vary from dark brown, black with gold stripes to dark red.
In the case of the mature females they have a red area on their throats, and they are smaller than the males which can grow up to 25 cm. Lizards can be found usually in loose soils and leaf trash.
The male lava lizard is different from the female because aside from the bigger size they have more bright colors.
The males have black and yellow throats. But of course colors and size are also different between the diverse species.
Galapagos lava lizards are very common to visitors to the Galapagos Islands because they are very active during the day and you can see them almost everywhere.
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An attractive characteristic in lizards is to change color if they are threatened or if there is a variation in the climate.
All the species of lizards found in Galapagos and their variations in color and shape show the incredible way they have adapted to the different climates and environments of the Islands.
Many scientists believe that the Galapagos lava lizards are another evidence in support of the Theory of Evolution promulgated by Charles Darwin
This is because it is assumed that all of the different species of lava lizards in the Galapagos Islands evolved from one single species.
These Galapagos reptiles play an important role in controlling insect populations.
They are omnivores and eat flies, beetles, ants, spiders, grasshoppers, and some plants. But since they are also predators they often eat each other.
Lava lizards have another curious defense system (besides its great camouflage) and it consists in dropping their tail when a predator grabs it.
Then another tail will grow back to replace the old one. This unique characteristic allows Galapagos lizards to live longer.
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Lizards begin each day basking on the warm rocks for about an hour depending on the sun's heat. Then they start their activities that include hunting and moving quickly from here to there.
Male lizards will mate with all females passing through their territory. Females will dig deep in the soil to lay their eggs to protect them.
The period of incubation lasts about 1 year before the young lizards born measuring about 2 inches long at birth. This is the time when Galapagos lava lizards are more vulnerable to predators such as birds and Galapagos Snakes
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