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1896 engraving of Galapagos sea lizard

1896 engraving of Galapagos sea lizard

Z765/0023

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Credit

GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Marine iguana. Galapagos "sea lizard" or marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus. Arguably the only lizard that can be described as marine, the species was observed by Charles Darwin during his visit to the Galapagos islands in 1835: "when in the water this lizard swims with perfect ease and quickness, by a serpentine movement of its body and flattened tail". Large herds of the animals, which grow up to 1.75 metres in length and feed on seaweed, were once a common sight on shorelines in the Galapagos. They are now rare due to irrational slaughter by human inhabitants.

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