Marine iguana

Marine iguana

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Credit: PETER SCOONES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) basking on a rock. This aquatic reptile feeds on marine algae, often diving deep underwater at high tide. Because it cannot regulate its own body temperature, and because it spends long periods of time in cold water, it compensates by basking in the sun to warm up. It is usually a dark grey or black colour, but this individual is displaying its breeding colours. The marine iguana consumes high levels of salt whilst feeding. It regulates its salinity levels by excreting salt crystals through a nasal gland. The marine iguana is found in large colonies, only on the Galapagos Islands.

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Keywords: amblyrhynchus cristatus, animal, aquatic, basking, behaviour, body temperature, breeding, coast, coastal, colour, colours, galapagos islands, herbivore, herbivorous, iguana, island, lizard, marine, nature, pacific, regulating, regulation, reptile, reptilia, rock, rocks, sunbathing, sunning, swimmer, thermoregulation, warming, wildlife, zoology

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