Marine iguana

Marine iguana

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Credit: DOUG ALLAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). This is the only truly marine lizard. It spends much of its time feeding on seaweed and algae near the shore. Because the waters it inhabits are cold, it basks in the sun to raise its body temperature. It is a large lizard which can reach up to two metres in length. It is only found along the rocky coastlines of the Galapagos Islands. It used to exist in vast colonies, but its numbers have declined recently due to the unusually strong 1982-83 El Nino climate event and the impact of introduced predators such as rats and cats, which reduce the survival of eggs and adults. Photographed in the Galapagos Islands.

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Keywords: amblyrhynchus cristatus, animal, aquatic, basking, endangered, galapagos islands, herbivore, herbivorous, marine iguana, nature, rare, reptile, reptilia, rock, rocks, rocky, sea lizard, sunning, thermoregulation, threatened, wildlife, zoology

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